Decorative concrete was chosen as the dominant theme and basic building material throughout the house from the first meeting with the architect. A variety of techniques were used to create this homogenous work of art that took a year and a half from beginning to completion.
A large stamped concrete driveway, using the Ashlar pattern, leads up to the house where wraparound patios in a random slate pattern provide walking access under the 4-foot overhanging roof. On the exterior of the SIPS constructed house walls you will find 1/2-inch-thick precast textured wall panels made to look like slate and applied like large tiles.
All interior walls, cast with white concrete on a smooth surface, were also 1/2-inch-thick precast—each made to fit their respective space, so as not to waste material. Bubbles were encouraged to create a more interesting surface that ended up resembling sawed travertine. Even the louvered vents were cast in concrete so as to blend with the wall panels.
The interior floors are imprinted with textured mats within fields framed by squared tube steel, used as visual accents that effectively control cracking. The countertops, tubs, sinks and showers are all polished or skim-coated concrete.
Artificial rock formations were used to create the fireplace, patio, and outdoor water feature. Artist Tom Shrunk provided the mold for the 1/2-inch 2x2-foot panels that make up the stairwall. These precast panels are made up of many squares with grooved parallel lines at varying angles that cause light to reflect differently thus producing a pattern that changes as you walk past. Other specialty interior panels include the cooktop backsplash made from finely crushed bottle glass sprinkled onto the wet concrete to provide color for the polished fish pattern and the subtle tree pattern for the headboard of the master bed. Panel inserts for interior doors were created using polished precast concrete with glass inlays that allow light to pass through.
"Our intention for going to such extremes with decorative concrete was to draw on 40 plus years experience in the industry to create a sustainable, minimal maintenance, contemporary approach to building that, in our opinion, only decorative concrete could provide. We hope our effort will inspire," entrant John Lee says.