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Top 10 Concrete Projects of 2009A review of projects featured in 2009 revealed these ten with the most innovative and creative uses of concrete.
1. Concrete Island Warms Up a Contemporary Kitchen
This kitchen remodeling project is the perfect example of how concrete can be adapted in color, shape and finish to suit any design requirement. In this case, the owners of this contemporary kitchen liked the look of their black cabinetry, mirrored wall panels and stainless steel appliances and fixtures, but they wanted to add a touch of warmth. Read about this concrete island.
2. Look Up! Stained Concrete on the Ceiling
In two new condo units in downtown Norfolk, VA, Zack Pease of Concrete Concepts met with the units' owner, and they talked about colors and finishes for the concrete floors. Then the homeowner looked up and said, 'What should we do about the ceiling?' The poured concrete of the building doubled as the unit floors and the ceilings of the units below. Pease suggested, 'What about staining it too? I'm sure we could do it.' Although this new endeavor presented its own set of unique challenges, the results were above and beyond expectation (pun intended!). Read about this stained concrete ceiling and view before, during, and after photos.
3. Concrete Home Combines Sustainability with Unique Design
Designing and building a custom home always presents a special set of challenges, including timely construction, managing costs, satisfying local building codes and, most important, pleasing the clients. For the Monahan residence on Canyon Crest Drive in Sisters, Ore., the use of insulating concrete forms (ICFs) for all the home's exterior walls not only passed these tests with flying colors, but also provided a comfortable, quiet, safe and energy-efficient living environment. Read about this concrete home.
4. Concrete Driveway Has 'Hawaiian Eye' Appeal
Located in Haiku, on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, this home features a spectacular concrete driveway, entryway and other hardscaping with the look and texture of the natural lava rock indigenous to the area. But this lava did not come from the island's legendary Haleakala volcano; instead, it came straight out of a concrete mixer. Read about this concrete driveway and view 17 photos of the process.
5. From 3,000 lbs to 970 lbs-Massive Old-World Fireplace Surround Is More Viable with GFRC
If it was possible to unearth an ancient Roman ruin and use it as a fireplace surround in a new home, then the Bentley's, homeowners of a new Mediterranean estate, would have done it. For their 7,000 square foot home in Gig Harbor, Wash., they wanted to create a commanding entry experience with an eye-catching fireplace and a dramatic grand staircase. Rather than summon the help for an architectural dig, they opted to create the look using concrete and the creative forces at Absolute ConcreteWorks (ACW). Read about this fireplace surround and view photos of the building process.
6. Green Home Uses Concrete Throughout
If you need "concrete" evidence that it's possible to build an environmentally friendly green home without sacrificing aesthetics or durability, then just take a look at this project. This stunning Tampa Bay, Fla., residence features concrete from top to bottom and inside and out, from concrete roof tiles, to precast concrete countertops, sinks and stair treads, to stained concrete floors and patios. Read about this concrete home and view amazing photos of all the details.
7. Concrete Satisfies 'Lofty' Design Goals
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. Read about the many ways concrete was used throughout this home and view photos of the applications.
8. River Runs Wild
Once in a while you come across a client that has enough confidence in your abilities, not only from a construction standpoint, but also creatively by giving you complete artistic freedom on a project. This was the case with homeowner Lori Higgs, who became completely enamored with decorative concrete after visiting Bob Harris' Decorative Concrete Institute showroom. Although she set certain parameters for her basement floor, such as the use of charcoal colors rather than earth tones and to embed the same type of river rock she saw at our showroom, we were able to throw in some unique elements. Read about this basement floor and view a photo slideshow of the process.
9. Practicality in Concrete: Korean Bathhouse Replicate Blends Function with Design
Inspired by frequent travels to Korea, a client in Monterey, California hired architect Dennis Hodgin to replicate a Korean bathhouse as her guest house. Having heard of the quality work done by Mark Concrete, Hodgin hired Mark Lesnick, owner, to take the project from a vision to reality. The custom project included plans for an Asian soaking tub, concrete wall and floor tiles, and a concrete sink. Read more about this bathroom and view a slideshow of this unique project.
10. Decorative Overlay System Doubles the Pleasure
Not many homeowners are fortunate enough to have patio decks on both the upper and lower levels of their home. Yet this wonderful amenity can also pose a design dilemma if you want both decks to look the same but they are built of entirely different materials. That was the case for homeowners Patti and Mike DonMoyer of Tabernash, Colo. The newly installed upper deck of their beautiful mountain home, which overlooks a grove of aspen trees, is wood-frame construction with plywood decking. The existing patio slab directly beneath it is cast-in-place concrete. The desire was to give both decks coordinating decorative surfaces identical in pattern and color. Read about this concrete patio overlay and view more photos.