Though concrete is revered in some circles for its brutish charms, the concrete block is generally considered less of a looker. This house in Vietnam by local firm Khuôn Studio could change that, as it deploys 1,300 custom-designed concrete blocks to interesting effect, using them as part of a double-skinned facade that allows natural ventilation and dappled natural light—through a triangle cutout in each block—inside the house.
The 16-foot-wide, 75-foot-long residence, called the Kontum House, was built by Khuôn Studio's founder for his sister and her husband. The project had a low budget, so the initial appeal of the workhorse concrete block was its inexpensive cost. It's used in a variety of ways, including inside the home as a decorative wall behind a bench, as an accent material for the interior volume that contains the bathroom, and as a wall for two courtyards at the rear of the house.
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