We see why kitchens cast in concrete are here to stay, through ten timeless, custom projects.
Concrete has left its strict worksite ties behind to make a case in kitchen design. Be it a benchtop, backsplash or monolithic kitchen island, architects and designers worldwide lean on the natural composite material for a lasting impression in the kitchen.
In an interview with Architects EAT director Albert Mo, Albert told est concrete was one of his favourite materials – and what some of his favourite buildings are composed of. “The art of using concrete to create architecture requires technology, engineering and craftsmanship to work together simultaneously,” Albert said. In this edit, we explore how the porous material, and its variations in colour and finish, take form in 10 different kitchen projects.
Produced in partnership with Fisher & Paykel
South Yarra House by Lande Architects
A new extension within a confined South Yarra site encouraged Lande Architects to get creative with concrete. Located at the rear of a traditional Victorian home, the extension’s concrete stairs morph into the kickboard beneath the olive kitchen joinery, just as the stairs mould into a concrete plinth for the TV in the living space on the other side.
The kitchen island is also clad in concrete – adhering to the owner’s preference for a durable, reductive approach to design. This approach extends to the integrated kitchen appliances, including the Fisher & Paykel 76cm oven, Integrated Refrigerator Freezer and Integrated Double DishDrawer™ Dishwasher.
Alexander House by Alexander&Co.
Home to Sydney design studio Alexander&Co., Alexander House is an idyllic live/work environment defined by sculptural forms and a poetic meeting of materials. At its heart, Alexander House features a defining pink concrete kitchen island, custom made by Concrete Bespoke. Weighing 500kg, this custom masterpiece had to be craned into the kitchen, becoming a seamless yet striking extension of the exposed concrete floors, beams, ceiling and walls.
Elwood Bungalow by Rob Kennon Architects
Inspired by Australian architect Roy Ground’s Hill Street House, designed in 1953, the Elwood Bungalow saw Rob Kennon Architects introduce a single-storey extension built around a circular garden. Concrete was an obvious choice for Rob Kennon Architects, as the original bungalow was constructed from the material – uncharacteristic of the time the home was built. The concrete kitchen island reflects the new extension’s curved opening and raw concrete ceiling through its solid cylindrical legs.
Pearl Loft by JHID
In Portland, Oregon, the Pearl District is known for its industrial warehouse conversions and hip neighbourhood, influencing design studio JHID’s approach to materiality in the Pearl Loft. The owner encouraged JHID to experiment with a minimalist palette and maximum detail – best seen in the kitchen. As a result, JHID have brought out the softness of concrete in the custom sink and benchtop by layering it with soft-toned timber cabinetry and gold fixtures.
Treehouse by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects
Madeleine Blanchfield’s Treehouse in Bronte, Sydney, showcases the influence of design on family life. Built on a challenging site, Madeleine Blanchfield turned to concrete as a hard-wearing material for key design features in the home; namely, the ribboning stairs and concrete island bench. The kitchen island is composed of board-formed concrete – also used for the in-situ concrete external planter beds – making concrete a thread from interior to exterior.
Middle Park House by Auhaus Architecture
Auhaus Architecture lured light and greenery into their extension onto a home in Middle Park, Melbourne. Here, the kitchen features an in-situ concrete island bench, spotted gum veneer cabinetry and concrete floors. The Auhaus architecture team were deliberate with the minimalist scheme, down to under bench ovens to minimise visual interruptions in the clean line of cabinetry, reinforcing the simplicity of the layout.
Nightingale 1 by Breathe Architecture
Nightingale 1 by Breathe Architecture is part of the Nightingale Model, leading a move towards social, economic and environmental sustainability in Melbourne’s multi-residential design scene. Located in Brunswick, Nightingale 1 celebrates the surrounding community and the industrial setting. Materiality takes precedence over form, particularly in the kitchen that features a concrete benchtop, backing onto exposed concrete walls. The industrial kitchen also features Fisher & Paykel appliances that tap into Breathe Architecture’s values and efficient use of space, with the Integrated Insert Rangehood, 60cm Oven and Integrated Double DishDrawer™ Dishwasher.
Glogauer Strasse by Mar Plus Ask
Glogauer Strasse saw the founders of architecture studio Mar Plus Ask, design duo Mar Vicens and Ask AnkerAistrup, convert a former supermarket in Berlin into their own home and studio. A concrete floor lays the foundation for the entire apartment, complemented by chalky-smooth, stucco-style plaster walls and the kitchen’s concrete benchtop, and central island. A large 90x90cm sink has been carved from the concrete island with a custom Vola KV1 tap to match.
Red Hill Residence by Travis Walton Architecture
Travis Walton Architecture designed a home away from home for a family in the hinterland of Red Hill, Victoria. Inside the pavilion, textures do the talking, where timber recycled from old chicken sheds and sealed with natural oil lines the ceiling and cabinetry, met with aggregate concrete flooring and concrete benches. The concrete and timber are a raw and rustic backdrop to the peaceful surroundings, considerate of the site’s context.
The Clubhouse by Wolveridge Architects
The Clubhouse by Wolveridge Architects takes up a pristine position in the dunes of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria overlooking the fairways and surrounds of Sorrento Golf Club. There is a pervading Brutalist theme throughout, particularly in the kitchen, with a sculptural concrete island and carved out sink. Concrete also makes an appearance in the stairs, the bedroom floors and in the custom bathroom sinks.