Means of Expression: Concrete is so much more than just a construction material in this new home
by Paul Taylor
While many of us might view concrete as just another construction material, for designer FuTung Cheng it’s so much more.
“Of course it can function entirely as a structural material, but for me it’s also means of expression,” he says.
“It imitates anything you press against it – rough or smooth. I use it with integral colour and texture, so it becomes a lot more expressive than any other material.”
That relish in the versatility of concrete is apparent in his design of the home featured here, a 560m² family home on a 4000m² suburban site. The house itself is a cluster of five distinct structures – the two-storey main house, office, guest house, meditation centre and the garage.
Cheng’s aesthetic approach to concrete helps mark out the different elements on the front facade, with a double-storey wall of textured, board-formed concrete used on the main house, while the single storey office is in smooth-faced concrete.
All the concrete work in the house was fabricated and detailed by the designer, often creating hands-on, spontaneous compositions.