Though concrete architecture can certainly be cold, when it's done well—and by the kinds of skilled architects that worked to elevate the lowly material to the coveted status it retains for some design nerds—it's flat-out beautiful. In residential architecture, concrete, if deployed sensitively, can take on a surprising warmth.
Designed by Chilean architecture firm Assadi + Pulido and Mexican architect Isaac Broid, this 8,051-square-foot (748-square-meter), H-shaped house outside Mexico City is a concrete lover's dream. Dubbed "Casa Roel," the single-level house features an H-shaped plan, with open-plan common areas—like the living and dining rooms and kitchen—in one volume and the bedrooms and baths in the other. The house is oriented slightly southwest, which means lots of natural light. Broad glass windows on external facades and a series of courtyards work together to bring the sun in.
Wood accents, as for the ceilings and floors, a sliding door between the living room and kitchen, and for the graphic, honeycomb-like screen shading one of the house's facades, help balance the ruggedness of the concrete. A lush, green site helps, too, of course, further evidence that context is key when it comes to keeping concrete feeling livable. And should its residents find themselves in need of a bit of an escape, there's a rooftop deck awaiting them.
∙ All Concrete Homes coverage [Curbed]