A Home is symbolic of lifestyle, the personality of its residents, as well the era in which it was built. For the very same reasons, people have started to take interest in consciously making choices about their modern homes, and their needs are efficiently met through the use of concrete as a building material. 

Concrete being a homogenous mixture of heterogeneous materials is capable of taking any form and shape with a remarkable performance under both compressive as well as tensile forces. 

Let’s have a look at the versatility this material provides in Modern Residential architecture. 

1. Ha Long Villa, Vietnam

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Ha Long Villa ©www.dezeen.com.

This Villa, designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, is a perfect example of how the muted color palette of exposed concrete can be easily rejuvenated with the use of trees as an element used for both aesthetics and enhancement of the spaces within. 

The huge rectangular openings on the concrete façade of Ha Long Villa, with trees growing out of them, give the residents an experience similar to that of living with nature.

2. Casa Castaños, Argentina 

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Residence1065, Chandigarh ©www.dezeen.com.

This concrete abode was designed by architects María Belén García Bottazzini and Ekaterina Künzel as Belén’s home. Casa Castaños is situated in a gated residential community and it comprises a two-story concrete structure that resembles a box supported by stilts. Any architect would easily place this house as a fine example of the Brutalist style of architecture, wherein the materials are allowed to speak for themselves. 

3. Residence 1065, Chandigarh, India

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Residence1065, Chandigarh ©www.dezeen.com.

Residence 1065 is a home designed for a family of three generations – the children, their parents, and their grandparents. Located in Sector 27 of the Indian city of Chandigarh, this house is a remarkable reimagination of Le Corbusier’s way of designing. 

Designed by architecture studio Charged Voids, this concrete house is representative of what the word ‘Modern’ meant to Corbusier as well as the image of the city itself.

4. House Within, Panchkula, India

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House within ©Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

With its bold horizontal and vertical lines, this house is a reflection of how concrete came to be the face of Brutalist architecture around the world. Concrete, as a material, renders a rustic feel to the front façade and envelopes the volumes interlinked with each other. 

This 3130 sq ft house was designed by Arch.Lab is an amalgamation of play with planes in wood and volumes in concrete. It stands for a minimalistic approach in designing homes.

5. The Diary House, Vietnam

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The diary House ©Minq Bui.

This 270 sqm house designed by DA VÁNG studio consists of a long narrow rectangular mass which has been carved out to let in light and air in various places within its roof. The walls and floors are built out of concrete with plaster and tile finish respectively. 

The concept was to create a series of different spaces resembling the different experiences of life captured in the pages of a diary.

6. Towers Road House, Melbourne

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Towers Road House ©www.dezeen.com.

Concrete often sparks an image of a lifeless grey stone carved into spaces, but this project paints a completely different picture. This residence, designed by Australian architecture studio Wood Marsh, is home to galleries featuring the resident’s art collection. 

With its curved walls defining the ensemble of an organic inhabitation and green spaces to envelop it from all sides the Towers Road House, set in the suburbs of Melbourne, stands high and proud of how even the most inanimate material can give rise to a picturesque abode.

7. Casa Povo, Portugal

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Casa Povo ©www.dezeen.com.

The Casa Povo is a concrete house built in an angular form inspired by the caves found in its Portuguese surrounding landscapes. This three-bedroom house was designed to blend into the rugged landscape it is surrounded by with pine trees and sloping contours. 

The project is an image of serenity and peace during dusk and dawn with the pigmented hues of sunlight playing off the exposed concrete facades.

8. Concrete House, Sussex, Southern England

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Concrete house in East Sussex ©Tarry+Perry.

Designed by office Raw Architecture Workshop for a young family, this Concrete House is a humble dwelling with interiors exhibiting warmth in the types of spaces, the palette of furniture used, and the specks of greens here and there. The site is lined with trees and this creates a natural buffer between the house and the streets. 

This modern monolith of a house looks like cubes and cuboids stacked one after another with a strip of water body extending from within to balance the built and the unbuilt.

9. VDC – Modular Housing, Portugal

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VDC Modular Housing ©www.dezeen.com.

These prefabricated concrete houses, designed by Architecture studio Summary, define minimalism in concrete. VDC consists of six independent cabin style concrete houses, staggered horizontally, opening up to a communal terrace also built out of concrete. It represents minimalism in material as well as design. 

Minimalism and the concept of ‘less is more’ represent the modern style of designing on an international level and this project symbolizes the same.

10. Shaded Rooftop House, Seoul

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Shaded Rooftop House, Seoul ©www.dezeen.com.

BCHO Architects crafted this design keeping in mind a sheltered outdoor living space for the occupants to enjoy. The three storeys built in concrete makes the structure look bulky, but this is cleverly balanced out by the elevated and perforated gable roof. This also makes room for an outdoor space that is naturally lit and equally protected. 

The house sits ahead of a hillside and stands out from the natural backdrop with its stark white-colored facades.

11. House in Fusato, Nanjo, Japan

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House in Fusato ©Ooki Jingu.

This 108 sqm house designed by Studio Cochi Architects functions as a house as well as a workshop for a couple and their three children. The site is situated over a hill overlooking the sea towards the south. It has an expandable plan that can incorporate future needs easily. 

The structure softly sits on the landscape as though it is a viewing deck for its residents. It lights up in the evening with a warm glow that reflects off its concrete surfaces.

12. CC House, Bolivia

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CC HOuse ©Cristobal Palma.

Modern homes are often expected to extend beyond the imaginable. The CC House in Bolivia lives up to this expectation. With its long cuboidal volumes perpendicularly stacked one over another on sloping terrain, the house seems to float above its landscape. 

Along with extended balconies and terraces the house is remarked for its exposed concrete structure which extends beyond the internal spaces to function as a weather shed.

13. The Twins House, Indonesia

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The Twins House ©Fernando Gomulya

This 73 sqm home looks like a small rectangular volume that stands out of its context with its chamfered corner and tree growing out from it. The spaces within are as compact as the structure seen from outside. 

Built for two families, the twins house makes sure that each family gets its share of privacy without compromising on space. The rough concrete finish blends the structure into its context while the openings seem to be carved out of the mass it envelops.

14. Casa Risch, Mexico

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Casa Risch ©Cesar Bejar.

This 180 sqm off white embodiment of concrete is home to a family of five within a residential neighbourhood having controlled access. This is an example of a concrete house with an exterior finish using off-white plaster, brilliantly used with the green plants around the structure. 

The combination of white and green depict peacefulness and balance – welcoming its residents into an equally solemn interior.

15. Concrete Villa, Switzerland

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Concrete Villa Switzerland ©www.dezeen.com.

This concrete abode in Switzerland, built by architecture practice DF_DC is known for its extended colonnade of rectangular columns asymmetric in alignment. The openings in the structure are oriented to the east and west whereas the neighbours are to the north and south, implying that the architect consciously chose to prioritize the privacy of his clients. 

The exterior finishes are in concrete and strolatto, a render of cement and pebbles (quite common to the area).  

16. Concrete House, Hiroshima, Japan

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Concrete House in Hiroshima, Japan ©www.dezeen.com.

Built by Kazunori Fujimoto Architects & Associates, this concrete house faces a picturesque backdrop of the Seto Inland Sea and the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Japan. The ground and second floor houses the bedrooms with the living space on the first floor. 

The intention behind the design was to create a modern house, with exposed concrete as the material for the exteriors as well as interiors, nestled in a traditional city.

17. Brutalist Tropical Home, Bali

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Brutalist Tropical Home, Bali ©www.dezeen.com.

This house is named as the ‘Brutalist Tropical Home’ of Bali. It is a 512-square-metre house designed by Patisandhika and Mitchell. It integrates vegetation around the site, with rice fields, into the geometric built form through the use of luscious plants. The exteriors are rich with the colorful plants and flowers whereas the interiors are rich with colors through the use of furniture and fabrics.

18. Multigenerational Family Home, Nansong, China

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Multigenerational Family Home, China ©www.dezeen.com.

Designed by AZL Architects, ‘The Song House’ is a five-bedroom concrete house made for a couple in their 50s and their other family members. It was specifically designed as an accessible house for the elderly using an external wheelchair ramp as a circulation element which also makes the house distinct from its context.

19. Casa CA, Argentina

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Casa CA, Argentina ©www.dezeen.com.

This family dwelling is a 3,982-square-feet spacious residence made out of concrete. It was designed by an Argentinian architect named Pablo Gagliardo in the port city of Rosario, Argentina. This house consists of two volumes linked by a central entryway. 

Concrete has been used to create spaces that look weightless and to allow the use of continuous glazed surfaces in the built form. 

20. Patio House, Greece

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Patio House, Greece ©OOAK.

Built as a holiday home for a couple living in Paris, this house is made in concrete cantilevers over a rocky cliff on the Greek island Karpathos. OOAK, a Stockholm-based architecture firm, designed this house as an object that responds to the landscape of the hillside but at the same time stands out from context. Punctures in the facade have been used as frames to capture the panoramic views in the surrounding.

21. Casa 214E, Mexico

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Casa 214E, Mexico ©www.dezeen.com.

Casa 214E is again another holiday house designed for a couple by a Monterrey based P+O Arquitectura. This residence is situated on a sloped site in the hillside of El Jonuco in Mexico. The built form comprises two volumes placed over one another. Exposed concrete with a rough finish makes the structure subtly blend into its context of rocky terrain.

Simple furniture has been used in the interiors to compliment this modern but simplistic house. 

22. Casa B, Malta

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Casa B, Malta ©www.dezeen.com.

This four-storey house defines modernity in the most modest way. Built into the context of two adjacent residences, this residence consists of a fully glazed front facade and living spaces positioned towards the rear end. Concrete has been used both as the structural as well as a finishing material in this project.

23. Casa Rex, Argentina

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Casa Rex ©www.dezeen.com.

This minimal home in La Plata, Argentina, is a fine example of modern houses made in concrete. The volume of cantilevered concrete was designed by architect Felipe Gonzalez Arzac so that it looks as though it is suspended in the air. Bold and straight lines make up for the silhouette of this three-bedroom residence designed for a family living in the neighborhood of City Bell.

24. Concrete Bare House, Tel Aviv

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Concrete bare House, Tel Aviv ©www.dezeen.com.

Designed by Jacob Yaniv Architects, this concrete house in Tel Aviv gives the word ‘modern’ a new perspective. It features a window wall that opens completely along with a living room with industrial furnishings. It is a single storey structure that has been designed for a family of four.

All living spaces have been zoned around the edge of the house so that each room has an access to the outside.

25. The Hut, Vietnam

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The Hut, Vietnam ©Hiroyuki Oki.

This concrete house in Vietnam is an example of the integration of traditional and contemporary architecture. The architects have used ideas from traditional Vietnamese spaces and executed those with the use of modern techniques. 

The Hut is a peaceful abode nestled in a developing area of Vietnam. The architects have thoughtfully revived green spaces in and around the structure to bring in the balance between built and unbuilt.

26. Cork Trees House

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Cork Tree House ©Joao Morgado

This house receives its name from the fact that the native vegetation played a fundamental role in conceiving the design. The site of the house was a terrain, on a steep slope, with numerous cork oak trees on its lower level. 

The architects exploited this opportunity and designed the house in a manner that the residents can enjoy views over the mountains and valleys of this region filled with cork oak trees. The bulky roof made in concrete seems to hold the structure in its place and provide the necessary protection from the exposure to sunlight.

27. Preston Hollow Residence

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Preston Hollow Residence ©Casey Dunn.

This 8826-square-feet residence designed by Specht Architects incorporates all elements that represent modern residential architecture into one. The concept of this design was based on the need to provide privacy and seclusion from the surrounding neighborhood and streets. 

The Heavy cast concrete walls run through the interiors into the landscape outside, creating courtyards and open spaces for adjacent rooms. The concrete roof overhangs make sure that the structure is well shaded on sunny days.

28. Amwaj Villa, Bahrain

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Amwaj Villa,Bahrain ©MORIQ.

This 77-square-metre house, situated in a posh locality in the city of Amwaj, Bahrain, was designed for a single family. The design brief was to make a modern home which has a strong connection between the interiors and exteriors. This is a luxurious 3 leveled house completed with a fully equipped gym and sauna. Materials have been used to express the use of contemporary style of architecture, and to represent a warm color palette.

29. 5 Beams House

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5 Beams House ©Sergio Pirrone.

Designed by Gubbins-Polidura Architects in Chile, this 260-square-feet house is a successful intervention of concrete structure built on a slope. The client brief was to develop a house that is as connected to the ground as it is to the context. 

Keeping this in mind the architect developed a grounded built form that is iconic in terms of structure and humble in terms of design. Concrete has been used as a structural material that also contributes to its aesthetics.

30. Atami Tower House

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Atami Tower House ©Satoshi Shigeta.

The Atami Tower House in Japan is an example of an exposed concrete residential structure that offers beautiful ocean views. This residence has been designed as a tower on purpose since the client wanted a living space that offers the beautiful views of the ocean. Thus, the fourth level comprises the living room whereas the lower levels house the bedrooms. 

Both interiors as well as exteriors are finished with exposed concrete.

31. Zicatela House, Mexico

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Zicatela House ©Alberto Kalach.

This residential structure that seems like a three dimensional composition of planes goes by the name Casa Zicatela and is located on the coast of Oaxaca in Mexico.

Designed by architect Alberto Kalach, this project is a series of concrete slabs that are connected by a side ladder. Since the slabs extend beyond the columns they seem to float in space and this helps in eliminating vertical barriers.

32. Rio House, Portugal

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Rio house ©Ivo Tavarez Studio.

The Rio House in Portugal is actually the remodelling of an old farmhouse. In redesigning this house, the architects have attempted to connect the previously present three small houses into one united structure. The only requirement of the project was to maintain the original volumes while unifying them. The architects use concrete and the unifying material and finish the exteriors with a white plaster.

33. Cork Oak House, Portugal

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Cork Oak House, Portugal ©Ivo Tavarez Studio.

This 33sqm house designed by Hugo Pereira Arquitetos built for a single family is a residence nestled in an area of natural protection of several cork oak trees. The remarkable part of the project is that the land was left intact and unchanged, without uprooting any trees in its context, throughout the construction. This shows respect for nature which has become an inevitable need in these modern times.  

34. Striped Mobius House, Ahmedabad, India

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Striped Mobius house, Ahmedabad_©Bharat Aggarwal.

Designed and built by the Matharoo Associates, the Striped Mobius House is the perfect example of how concrete can be used as material to integrate regular and irregular forms into a single entity. This 1280 sqm project is reflective of how the versatility of concrete as a material can give rise to a modern residence with a few right design choices.

35. HS House, Ahmedabad

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HS House, Ahmedabad ©Ishita Sitwala.

Located in the heart of the city, the HS house represents a compact living solution consisting of a family home with common walls shared with neighbours. The challenge in building this house was to demolish and rebuild a home leaving the buildings on both the sides untouched. 

The process is eased by using concrete as the material for floors, slabs, as well as walls – the use of a single material makes the process of rebuilding quick and hassle free. 

36. Tree House, Costa Rica

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Tree House, Costa Rica ©Carlos Vasquez.

This 280-square-metre residence was designed by QBO3 Arquitectos as a weekend retreat for a client who was a chemist by profession and artist by vocation. The site is located in a forest-like area of Puerto Carrillo de Hojancha luscious with evergreen trees all around. 

Thus, from the very beginning of the design process the primary concern was to conserve as many trees as possible. Using the flexibility of concrete as a material the design was conceived around these evergreen trees.

37. Phra Pradaeng House, Bangkok

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Phra Pradaeng House, Bangkok ©www.dezeen.com.

This residence is an example of how concrete has been cleverly used in the front facade in the form of lattice screens. This innovative element made out of concrete functions as a fenestration that provides breeze and shade to the interiors of the house.

The house seems to be wrapped in these concrete screens with the living spaces arranged within them. The house has a central well around which all other spaces have been placed.

38. Concrete and Glass House, Luxembourg

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Concrete and Glass House, Luxembourg ©www.dezeen.com.

This dwelling designed on the sloping site of Mondorf-les-Bains in the south of Luxembourg is an example of minimalistic architecture. The cuboid made in concrete is representative of how a simple geometric volume can suffice the needs of a residence. Built on three levels, this house uses structural concrete as an aesthetic feature of the house as well. 

Concrete has been used to create a 14 metre beam on the lowest level to support the two other levels. The front facade is glazed, and the other sides are made in concrete with a series of picture windows.

39.House and Studio Lambeth

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House and Studio Lambeth ©www.dezeen.com.

This structure built in the year 2018 is a building that has been designed as a part of a Victorian warehouse in south London. The house and studio was built on a long, narrow site that was landlocked on either side. The architects chose to take this as a challenge and design within these boundaries. 

Built in exposed concrete, the entrance is a series of steps that lead to the interiors. Furniture has been sparsely used to give the project a clean and minimal look. The color palette has been restricted to shades of grey so as to compliment the use of concrete as the primary material.

40.Concrete House, Shiga, Japan

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Concrete House by Kouichi Kimura, Shiga, Japan ©www.dezeen.com.

Designed by Japanese architect Kouichi Kimura, this concrete house in Japan resembles a fortress. Located between a highway and a concrete factory, it was just fitting that this three bedroom house was built in concrete with minimal view to the exteriors. This need to constrict connection from the exteriors, the house was consciously designed with an impenetrable fortress-like appearance.

41. Ridge House, Northern California

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Ridge house, Northern California ©www.dezeen.com.

The Ridge house, designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects, is a guest house overlooking forested hills in Sonoma County. This structure is an amalgamation of three concrete volumes for a family of five. The side being an undulating land posed as a challenge for the architects to find a flat spot upon which the structure could be perched. 

Thus, the architects chose to club the closed spaces together and leave the rest to accommodate a generous outdoor area and a pool.

42. Catskills House, Upstate New York

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Catskills House, Upstate New York ©www.dezeen.com.

Designed by architect Jason Shannon and his wife, designer Paola Yanez, this weekend retreat house is an example of how compact interiors can be designed using basic materials such as concrete masonry and standing-seam metal.

Located in SUllivan county, the site offers views of rolling mountains, and dense woods. The goal of the designers was to use minimum footprint without compromising on comfort.

43. Exposed Concrete Skinny House

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Exposed Concrete skinny house ©www.dezeen.com.

As the name suggests, this residence is a 4.2 metre wide dwelling in Melbourne. Designed by Oliver du Puy Architects, this house is an abode to quiet spaces that are meant for meditation. The client, who is based in London, is a keen meditator who frequently travels to and from Australia. 

The designers referred to the works of Japanese architect Tadao Ando to create this getaway from the chaotic city.

44. Rammed Concrete Cloister House, Perth, Australia

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Rammed concrete Cloister houses, Perth, Australia

This residence is a fine example of the several methods of construction concrete as a material allows. Made from rammed concrete, this house in Perth, Australia, is an almost windowless structure that is located on a plot next to a busy road on a suburban site. 

In order to achieve a sense of privacy the house was consciously designed as an enclosed, inward looking built form. This sense of enclosement has been compensated through the use of courtyard as an element as well as numerous plants around the structure that serve as a reminder of the outdoors.

45. House made of Concrete Blocks, Germany

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House made of concrete blocks, Germany ©www.dezeen.com.

Casa Morgana, in Germany, serves as another example of how concrete can be used as a flexible construction material. This modern dwelling has been built out of the reminises of 19th-century brutalist buildings, and the elements have been arranged in a successive order to resemble the style of building a ziggurat.

These stacked boxes of concrete are connected in the interiors and provide multi-levelled spaces which are divided by either curtains or terrazzo wall sections.

46. Raw Concrete House, Bavaria, Germany

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Raw Concrete House in Bavaria, Germany ©www.dezeen.com.

Designed by SoHo Architektur, this concrete house in Bavaria with an unfinished facade is an example of brutalist architecture wherein materials are used in their bare form. The exterior and interior walls comprise unclad concrete walls with a smooth finish.

The structure is split across three levels, one of which is a cantilevered volume, and the house is placed on the centre of the plot.

47. Home studio, Japan

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Brick Clad Concrete Home in Petworth, England ©www.dezeen.com.

This dwelling goes by the name F Residence. It is a combination of the architect’s studio and house using a concrete frame with large openings around an inner courtyard. This home office sits between two existing houses on a suburban street.

The ground floor houses the office and the upper levels have bedrooms, the living area, and the kitchen.

48. Brick clad Concrete home, Petworth, England

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Brick Clad Concrete Home in Petworth, England ©www.dezeen.com.

Another advantage of the material concrete is that it can be cladded with other materials such as brick and stone. This property comes handy when the client wants the structure to resemble its historical origins without compromising on its interiors in terms of sizes. 

This Brick Clad concrete home in Petworth, designed by British architect Adam Richards, was intended to seem to be a Roman villa containing grand concrete rooms.

49. Portuguese Hillside House, Monsaraz, Portugal

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Potuguese Hillside house in Cantilevering Concrete

This underground concrete house is dug into a hillside with a green roof made out of a curving concrete slab that extends as a shelter. This house overlooks the lake nearby – Alqueva lake. 

What makes this project interesting is that when viewed from above or the west, only the light wells and the green roof will be visible. This subtle boundary of a structure feels to be a part of its natural landscape. 

50. Villa Tan Dinh, Vietnam 

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Villa Tan Dinh ©www.dezeen.com

As more and more cities continue to develop, people are starting to crave for spaces that stand out from the ordinary and keep them closer to nature. Concrete proves to be an excellent material at providing numerous options in terms of exterior as well as interior wall finishes, flooring typologies, as well as creative roofs. 

This project depicts how concrete can be useful in giving rise to different surfaces blending with nature in a singular backdrop.

Gautami Menon
Author

Gautami Menon is a final year student at the Institute of Architecture and Planning, Nirma University. As an aspiring architect, she is passionate about expressing design through the written medium. She believes that architectural design is a platform where intellect meets art and her designs are an attempt at justifying the same.

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