"Concrete has always had a mystical hold on architects," says designer Christopher Robertson. Visionaries such as Le Corbusier, who used concrete in many of his 75 projects, loved this basic material. Robertson and his wife, Vivi Nguyen-Robertson, his partner at Robertson Design, were also enamored with the amalgam of sand, gravel, cement, and water, and the newlyweds dreamed of using it for their own house. "We just couldn’t wrap our heads around the cost," Christopher says, referring to the labor-intensive poured-in-place procedure he prefers. "It’s way more expensive than any other option we considered."