Separately, exposed concrete and the color black don’t really have much in common. It’s not a well-known fact that you can actually put the two together, the result being black pigmented concrete. There’s been experiments done with it since the 1950s and over the years we’ve developed new ways to create black concrete. The color of the black concrete is purely decorative and we’ve also found a variety of different applications for it, some of which are featured below.
Bridge over the Dřetovice stream – Czech Republic
The unique beauty of black concrete stands out against the minimalist design of this bridge. It was built over the Dřetovice stream in Vrapice, the Czech Republic. The design is the result of a collaboration between studios Aoc architects and Klokner Institute and, as you can see, it’s very simple and has a modern aesthetic. The project was completed in 2019 and the bridge is used as a pedestrian path which connects the village to the nearby cemetery.
The decision to use black concrete for this was inspired by the spiritual vibe of this entire project. Aesthetically the dark color also helps the bridge to blend in with the landscape around it and to look more natural and organic in this setting. It has a curved shape and an artistic appearance even though it is a very simple structure.
Villa Comano – Switzerland
Black pigmented concrete can also be used in residential projects and this house from Comano, Switzerland is a beautiful example. It was built in 2014 and it’s designed by studio Attilio Panzeri & Partners. The site on which it was erected has a really nice view of the mountains as well towards the nearby lake. These views were what inspired the architects to come up with a design that gets to maximize the panorama.
The house is open on three sides in order to fully embrace the scenery. This gives it an open and airy aesthetic which comes into contrast with its solid, monolithic structure. Furthermore, the use of black concrete both inside and out adds a certain rough feel to the entire house but also helps to highlight the geometry and architecture of the building as a whole.
Carlota Hotel – Mexico
Another beautiful structure which makes use of black concrete is the Carlota Hotel from Ciudad de Mexico. It was renovated in 2015 and the design was done by studio JSa. The original building formerly known as the garden Amazonas Hotel was in a bad state of decay. One of the few elements which were preserved throughout the renovation was the facade of the building which had a modern perforated design.
Some of the original exposed concrete structure of the building is still visible, having been seamlessly incorporated into the new design. Together with various black concrete additions, these surfaces add a simple and modern vibe to the hotel and help to highlight some of its more unique architectural features. The original black concrete lattice facade remains one of the defining features for this place.
Casa Bruma – Mexico
This project was a collaboration between architects Claudia Rodríguez and Fernanda Canales. The house was built in 2017 using black concrete and it has an interesting design. Rather than being a typical house consisting of a single building it was envisioned as a series of individual modules arranged around a large central courtyard. This decision was based on a desire to preserve the trees that were present on the land and also to allow each of these spaces to enjoy nice views and to receive plenty of natural light in the morning and afternoons.
There’s nine of these separate volumes in total and it can each function independently but at the same time they all complement each other. The areas containing the social spaces like the kitchen, dining room and living area are connected by corridors and they’re also linked to one of the bedrooms. That leaves two other volumes which serve as guest rooms, a service area and the garage.
The Panpo-ri Residence – South Korea
When designing this modern house studio round architects used a combination of black concrete and stone to create a series of layers with different colors and textures and to add more depth to this otherwise very simple and monolithic structure. The residence is located in Panpo-RI, South Korea and was completed in 2017. It occupies a flat piece of land which made the construction fairly easy and straight-forward, hence the need to include interesting variations of materials in the design.
The design was also shaped by the specific climate conditions in this area. The house thus has porous stone walls and has been lowered into the ground in order to be able to more easily withstand the strong winds. It also has large windows which frame the beautiful views but also have extra long canopies that shelter them from the strong sunlight. You might also be able to notice this tall black concrete wall placed between the house and the road on the E and N sides. These add privacy and create a very safe perimeter around the house.
Villa Montagnola – Switzerland
Yet another beautiful black concrete house was built in Collina D’Oro, Switzerland back in 2017. It was a project done by architecture studio Attilio Panzeri & Partners and it consists of a modern residence with a really great view of the Lugano Lake which is close-by. Some of the inspiration for its design came from the surrounding landscape which is partially why black pigmented concrete was chosen as a main building material.
From a structural point of view, the house is a collection of open and closed spaces. Although it has a minimalistic aesthetic and it appears very gray and bland on the outside, it’s actually a very warm and welcoming place. All of its doors and windows and framed in oak wood and the white walls are beautifully complemented by lots of textured surfaces as well as by the vibrant and beautiful views framed by the large openings.