35 Modern Homes That Make the Case for Concrete

35 Modern Homes That Make the Case for Concrete

Durable, versatile, and energy-efficient to boot, concrete is a smart building material with endless design potential.

A robust and malleable material, concrete goes much further than brutalism. The material withstands extreme weather conditions, boasts excellent thermal mass, and requires little maintenance, making it an enduring pillar of modern architecture; below, check out some of our favorite projects using this monolithic matter.

Prefab Outside of Zurich

The rear of the house looks onto a lush backyard. The rough, industrial prefabricated concrete panels by the German manufacturer Syspro are the building blocks of the home.

The defining gesture of this home on Hawaii's Big Island is a 139-foot-long, four-foot-tall concrete beam spanning the roof. 

Designers Christopher Robertson and Vivi Nguyen-Robertson conceived their house as an unfolding sequence of simple geometric forms: a low concrete wall, a concrete cube, and a box clad in Siberian larch.

At the family home of Israeli architect Pitsou Kedem, modern and light-filled interiors enliven a brutalist concrete structure in the city of Ramat HaSharon near Tel Aviv.

Shop the Look
Tadao Ando: Complete Works (1969-1994)
Tadao Ando (born 1941) is Japan's leading architect and designer with a dazzling international reputation. A comprehensive monograph of Ando's work, this book examines over one hundred buildings and projects designed between 1969-94, illustrated by photographs, plans and exquisite sketches.
Concrete Black and White Caddy
This remarkably versatile concrete caddy will feel at home in any room. Handmade in the USA from black and white concrete, each piece is distinctive and unique. Its design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California.
Foscarini Aplomb Pendant
Aptly named, the Foscarini Aplomb Pendant ensures precise lighting, its concrete shade pulling the cable taut and lighting the room with a strong and handsome presence.

Named after the rural Ecuadorean parish where it's located, the El Quinche House designed by Felipe Escudero sits in a valley in the Andes with stunning views of the mountainside.

The interior consists entirely of exposed concrete accented by wood. The ground floor features double-height ceilings that maximize natural light from the light wells above.

Inside Out Architecture renovated an apartment in the Clerkenwell section of central London, removing interior walls to create an open, loft-like living space. 

A trio of 3,660-square-foot dwellings share over a third of an acre and answer a common desire for space, security, shared maintenance, and even a sense of community.

In one of the last industrial pockets of West Town, UrbanLab’s Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn created a modern live/work space that speaks to the neighborhood’s history in form and function. The Dukane Precast concrete panels were acid-etched for a more finished look.

John Hix designed the Hotel Casa Solaris to be as green as possible by harnessing the natural forces in Vieques, including the wind, sun, and rain.

Exposed concrete, wood siding, and a lush landscape define this renovation of a family home located in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. 

Smitten from the start with a 1970s concrete villa in rural Belgium, a resident and her designer embarked on a sensitive renovation that excises the bad (carpeted walls and dark rooms) and highlights the good (idyllic setting and statement architecture).

Designed with the sloping seaside site in mind, this home is composed of six modular structures connected by two intersecting corridors. Each of the six boxes can be lifted by crane; if the site is compromised, all that needs to be rebuilt is the foundation and the spaces between the units. 

The rural agricultural setting had a great impact on the design, which is solemnly surrounded by a few farms and a group of trees. The use of concrete is a wink to the area's history and accentuates the massiveness of the building.

In the city of Hsinchu in northern Taiwan, Taipei-based firm Yuan Architects designed a four-level dwelling with a brutalist-style, raw concrete shell. An S-shaped wall weaves through the interiors, carving up public and private spaces shared by three generations of a family. 

In Tokyo, where the houses are crammed cheek-by-jowl, two old friends from architecture school created a 793-square-foot home out of canted concrete boxes. 

Sitting on the edge of Puertos de Beceite National Park, the design is the first property of Solo Office's collection of cutting-edge vacation rentals.

When Atelier TEKUTO received a brief for a distinctive, environmentally conscious concrete home, they embarked on a journey of spacial and material exploration. The result is a micro-house built with specially formulated concrete made of volcanic ash that maximizes space through its vertical construction.  

Inspired by Walden, Henry David Thoreau's testament to a simple life surrounded by nature, Casa Tiny features a minimalist concrete design with rustic wooden accents. The peaceful home is the perfect choice for a relaxing getaway in the middle of nature. 

Designed by Guedes Cruz Architects, the Wall House is laid out in an open-box plan and is fitted with plenty of glass windows to enhance the synergy between its interior and exterior spaces. The concrete, wood, and glass home also boasts a pair of large swimming pools on two levels. 

A young Milanese couple wanted a small vacation home on their 3,000-square-meter lot in Italy's Oltre Po Pavese region—and 35a Studio delivered by way of this 120-square-meter cabin decked out in textural concrete and strategically accented with wood.

This renovation of a 1940s home in Puerto Rico's Miramar neighborhood is a sensitive reinvention of local tradition–Ponce de León meets Le Corbusier.

Inside the California dwelling, which is entered via a bridge that pierces the 25-foot-high main facade, the view opens up to a panorama of mountains and sea.

A cross-hatch covering adds a playful note to this renovation, which juxtaposes wood, concrete, and steel to create lightness and space. 

Nestled in an apple grove, the Orchard House is a rural idyll. And with the voracious design appetites of a family of gastronomically inclined clients, this concrete prefab construction is quite literally a moveable feast of a home.

Rather than painting the house, Alarcia Ferrer Arquitectos tinted the concrete a subtle pink hue as a nod to the area’s natural minerals. Alongside the grasses and brush, rosy rocks abound.  

Parota accents—a locally sourced, sustainable wood—complement the gray concrete walls of this surfer's paradise steps away from the beach.

Set on a ridge overlooking a deep ravine, this summer home in Southern Iceland is surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery.

Australian architecture firm CHROFI designed this home for an empty-nester couple on Sydney’s northern beaches that contrasts rugged concrete with refined millwork.

Circular openings in the concrete slabs allow plants to grow through the residence, strengthening the home’s connection with the site. 

Using concrete for the basic structure inspired the team to continue the theme inside with exposed concrete brick walls, floors, and benchtops. The resulting restrained palette creates a soothing backdrop for this sustainably minded residence.

Porto-based architecture firm SUMMARY used its affordable Gamos System to construct this 10,743-square-foot development in just eight months.

Architecture and interior photographer Marc Gerritsen went back to basics when he designed this minimalist concrete house that is available to rent through Airbnb.

Perched on a piece of rugged coastline, this home is protected from the area’s heavy rainfall with the addition of a vaulted concrete roof that also frames the seaside scenery.

About 100 miles southwest of Mexico City, nine black concrete blocks in a forest clearing make up one family's holiday home. Designed by Fernanda Canales with landscaping by Claudia Rodríguez, Casa Bruma makes elegant use of a construction material that's commonplace in Latin America.

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