Widely favoured for the industrial edge it lends flooring, concrete’s design potential is far more varied than you may realise. Peter Fell is one company that’s successfully embracing the geometric properties of this malleable substrate in ways we’ve never seen before.
Nestled in the wild landscape of Queenstown, the Bivvy House is a masterclass in modern architecture, thanks largely to its imposing exterior, cast in concrete that was specially-coloured by Peter Fell to take on a rich, schist-like quality. This home exemplifies how concrete is being reinvented in contemporary design, its vast and varied capabilities increasingly resulting in architectural marvels that are both unexpected and arresting. Consider, for example, casting an interior wall in the sturdy material or creating a sculptural exterior with angular concrete that’s coloured to suit the environment. The impressive Arrowtown home by Richard Naish of RTA Studio showcases how both concepts, when used together, can imbue a home with a commanding presence. While in Auckland, the Grey Lynn showroom of Designer Rugs has been finished with a geometric, nine-metre-tall concrete facade, made to look aged and rustic via Peter Fell’s unique colouring process. Involving high doses of German manufactured Bayferrox iron oxide pigment, this impressive technique results in some of the richest and most durable coloured concrete on the New Zealand market, and has seen Peter Fell establish itself as a leading supplier of specialist coloured concrete.
Architects and designers are casting aside misconceptions that keep concrete limited to its one-dimensional, grey origins and embracing the mulitfaceted options available to them by using concrete to inform their creative processes. As the experts at Peter Fell have demonstrated, concrete is far more versatile than we give it credit for and using it in different ways can result in exceptional structures that are as dramatic and timeless as they are diverse.