Raw Materials are the new methods of construction whether it is to save expenses, to be environmentally friendly, or for the pure sake of aesthetics, the decision of covering or hiding a material with another is of great relevance. These materials are integral part of the field of architecture and are selected by the location and building type.
Here is a list of 10 materials that are beautiful enough on their own and need no rendering:
Commonly, after laying the bricks of a wall, they are plastered or covered with another material. There are uncountable examples that show that it is possible to let brick be the aesthetical motive of a design.
The Vietnam-based studio Tropical Space has various projects that play with the diverse combinations of brick, from solid walls to jalousies, arches, etc. With such an outcome, plastering these walls is totally out of place.
2. PRECAST CONCRETE
Reinforced concrete is not only praised for its bearing capacity but also its variability of form; almost every shape can be created out of it.
Precast elements are a game-changer for shaping buildings. A great example of what can be done is the International Museum of Baroque in Puebla, Mexico by Toyo Ito & Associates in collaboration with DANSTEK. The white concrete panels were brought from the factory and assembled on-site to create the museum’s flowing and continuous shape. The white concrete underwent a simple texturing process to make it homogeneous. After seeing this museum, there is no place for doubt about what can be achieved with precast concrete.
3. CONCRETE POURED ON-SITE
Yes, concrete deserves another point on the list, now with another construction technique. Concrete is poured into the formwork on-site; it hardens with time and keeps the shape. This gives infinite possibilities of form-making, but what’s also interesting is that the concrete keeps the texture of the formwork. The most common formwork is wooden; hence the wood plank surface is imprinted on the concrete. This is a beautiful finishing for exteriors and interiors, or maybe both, like in H3 House by Luciano Kruk.
4. NATURAL SLATE
Slate has remarkable performance, durability, and aesthetic qualities. Natural slate is carved by hand into tiles, this makes each tile unique. Slate had been used mostly for roofs, though a lot of designers have recently exploded this material to the maximum using it on facades.
If your aesthetics fluctuate within the dark colors, natural slate is up your alley. The Villa P by N+P Arkitektur in Denmark shows the beauty and sobriety of the natural slate, which covers the roof and facades of the villa.
Plywood is a material that is mostly used in furniture-making. Its natural beige color gives feelings of freshness and cleanliness, it can be a complementary element or the center of attention of interior design.
In Cape Point House by Beatty Vermeiren, plywood is the material that the whole design revolves around. Plywood is present from furniture to walls and ceilings, thanks to its light color and smooth surface, everything found on the space is visually enhanced. Like natural slate, plywood can be of beautiful sobriety, but in the lighter spectrum of colors.
“Why would I EVER cover marble with any type of rendering?” Indeed, no one would and that it is why it deserves a spot on this list. Marble is resistible as it is beautiful, however, designers must be careful when it comes to using marble. The amount, color, location, and its dialogue with other materials is crucial to make marble successful and refined. Fala Atelier in their Lisbon flat uses marble on the floor of the corridor-like kitchen and dining room. The marble, the white walls, the furniture, and the color of the doors complement one another and are in balance.
7. RAMMED EARTH
Rammed earth is a material we should speak about when it comes to low-cost, environmentally friendly architecture. It is earth (usually taken from the excavations in site) that is rammed into shape until it reaches the desired compaction. It will perform as structure and in warm climates as thermal insulation.
The use of this material is wonderfully exemplified in the Casa Ajijic in Jalisco, Mexico by Tatiana Bilbao. The walls are made out of rammed earth. In some layers, a pigment was added, giving each wall uniqueness. With such a possibility, there’s no need for the walls to be covered with any other material.
Bamboo is well known for its compressive strength, its flexibility, and lightness. It can help solve the structure and also give a sense of closeness to nature.
Budi Pardono Architects shows off the qualities of the bamboo in their Casablancka house. The roof of the house is made out of bamboo and it is exposed to the interior. With a roof of this nature, there is no necessity to hide it behind anything, for it is essential to the warmth and tropical quality of the space.
9. CORTEN STEEL
Corten steel is delivered from factory new and smooth, it is until after some time exposed to the environment that it rusts. It is a great material to witness time passing by. There is no need to paint the steel sheets, the beautiful rusty color is all finishing needed.
It comes across as an industrial-like material, nevertheless, projects like Smith House by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects show us that it can be applied to residential projects too. Corten steel has an interesting contrast to the rocky base and the environmental conditions of Canada, where it is located.
10. CORRUGATED STEEL
Corrugated steel is known to be used as a structural element of floors and roofs, but it is also used as a design element in interiors and exteriors. The sheets come in different colors and transparency degree. The lines of the sheets can be placed vertically horizontally or diagonally. It is a material with vast possibilities of design.
The Corn Yard house by CODA Bespoke is a great project to exemplify its use on facades. An elegant house is achieved through to the color selection and the verticality of the sheets.