Concrete Satisfies 'Lofty' Design Goals

Project submitted by Get Real Surfaces, New York
By Anne Balogh, Columnist

Armed with an ambitious wish list of design needs, the owners of this 4,000-square-foot loft-style apartment in New York City challenged Gerrard + Tan Architects to find a material that would suit their lifestyle and aesthetic tastes. It's no surprise that concrete, with its versatility and adaptability, turned out to be the ideal solution.

"The intention of the design was to provide as much function as possible for a growing and active family, while resulting in an environment that would be both highly versatile as well as calm and serene," says Judith Gerrard of Gerrard + Tan. "Concrete appealed to the owners because it could be used to create both horizontal and vertical finishes that are refined, monolithic and minimalist. In addition, the concrete could be completely customized in color and texture to support the colors and material palette of the job."

Concrete was used extensively throughout the space, including cast-in-place countertops and kitchen island and trowel-applied finishes for the bathroom walls and fireplace surround. All the work was done by Get Real Surfaces of New York.

"We worked closely with the architect to develop a series of custom colors for all of the concrete finishes in the space," says Yvonne Laube of Get Real Surfaces. "To achieve the whiteness of the cast-in-place kitchen counters and island, a titanium pigment was added and then the counters were sealed with a no-VOC, food-safe sealer."

The finish applied to the bathroom walls and fireplace surround consists of a pigmented cementitious base with added acrylic polymers. "This allows us to use the material on a number of surfaces including wet locations, such as showers, and on curved surfaces with no cracking," says Laube. In vertical applications, the finish is applied with a steel trowel at a thickness of 1/8 inch, similar to a Venetian plaster application. A subtle texture gives the trowel-applied finish the look of concrete without the weight. The finish can also be pigmented to suit any color palette.

"We pride ourselves on being able to custom-color match our finishes from one product to another to create a suite," says Laube.

Get Real Surfaces
New York, NY 10001

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