Luigi Rosselli, Polished concrete structural slab

The Best of Concrete: Grey Matter

Luigi Rosselli Architects have applied a lot of thought to grey matter over the years: off-form concrete, cement toppings, polished concrete, precast, glass reinforced; concrete is a material of many forms.  In-situ cast off-form concrete combines a structural solution with a lasting finish, textured or smooth, coloured dark or light. Using weathered timbers, corrugated iron and embossed patterns or shapes in the formwork provide highly textured and expressive finishes.

While the natural Portland Cement colour is preferred, off-white cements and concrete dyes can add drama.  Black and white aggregates can be added to floor slabs, revealed when the floor is polished to a very resilient, hardwearing sheen.  Waxing the surface softens the tactile quality.

Glass reinforced concrete (GRC) is increasingly being used to minimise the carbon footprint and energy impact by reducing the amount of material involved. One of the primary motivations for carefully using concrete is to provide a building with few maintenance requirements and a structure that is designed to spread its high production energy cost over centuries.

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