B.E Architecture (@b.e_architecture)

Aug 2019

We believe a building is a sum of the materials that it is built from, and furthermore, that it is the combination of materials that give the building its soul. The process of selecting materials that are appropriate to their context and environment is at the core of our design process; we often look to the past to confirm what survives the test of time. Today we wanted to share with you a conversation that began a few years ago when our Directors were invited to give a talk at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. This talk started a conversation about concrete and the significance of how it is detailed.⁠⠀ Col Madigan, the architect who designed the NGA in the 1970s, used a technique with the in-situ concrete walls where the smooth concrete surface was mechanically scoured. This process left the aggregate exposed while still maintaining the edges of the forms untouched like a corner stop in a timber building.⁠⠀ The concrete detailing seen on our Mermaid Beach Residence on the Gold Coast in Queensland was detailed in a similar fashion. The concrete walls were banded using a similar technique to the NGA, and the aggregate underneath was exposed. A series of different tools were trialled by the builder on-site on test panels before he settled on an instrument which was manufactured overseas specifically for the project. The textured concrete gives the simple form a sense of relief; the pitted exposed aggregate almost appears soft while being impervious to the harsh coastal environment that houses sits within. The process was laborious to say the least, but the effect is beautiful and reminds us of a time when concrete was considered more than just a structural material.⁠⠀ Builder - Pase Bullding #modernarchitecture #contemporaryarchitecture #australianarchitecture #concretearchitecture #coastalarchitecture #australianbeachhouse #melbournearchitects #sydneyarchitects #queenslandarchitecture #insituconcrete #pasebuilding #australiandesign #bearchitecture #residentialarchitecture