When Korean architect Byoung-soo Cho set out to design his dream house in Seoul, he found the project unexpectedly challenging at first. Eventually Cho settled on the idea of arranging four two-story, rectangular concrete boxes around a central courtyard, giving the home a layout resembling a cardboard box with all its flaps open. Because the boxes only overlap partially, each box can have windows on all sides, allowing fresh air and sunshine to flood inside.
The minimalist concrete design in this home outside Zurich nicely compliments some of its owners' more whimsical belongings.
When designing this sprawling home on the northern coast of El Salvador, architect José Roberto Paredes sought to incorporate an eclectic yet elegant mix of aesthetic details. While concrete is a lesser feature in a living room dominated by a thatched roof, it is prominent in the main bedroom. "A home should not be invented entirely by one person," explains Paredes. "It should be a collection of thoughts and experiences."
The exposed concrete in the living room of a Sea Ranch, California home brings out the warmth of the plywood ceilings and Douglas fir built-ins.
Enric Luiz Geli was not afraid of taking risks when designing the futuristic Villa Bio home in a suburb of Barcelona. While the massive concrete slabs used for the structure's interior could have registered as cold and monolithic, Geli's use of extended glass windows and openings to the outdoors lend these interiors an inviting atmosphere.
When Barbara Hill purchased a 1960s Houston condo she completely stripped its interior, seeking a minimal restart. When the apartment was down to its original mottled concrete walls and floors Hill decided to keep everything exactly the way it was. “Once I saw the exposed space, I couldn’t bear to put anything back," she says.