When striving through Berlin every once in a while the cityscape is slightly disrupted by gigantic concrete monsters. Buildings stored under the name of brutalism. „What characterizes Brutalism…is precisely its brutality , it’s je-m’en-foutisme, its bloody-mindedness.“ says Reyner Banham around 1955 describing the phenomenon which is drawing our attention to the fullest. Regarding his quote these buildings, who partly define the city's vibe, were always different from others. Along with their unique formal language and composition of volumes comes a certain imperfection, a topic which is quite en vogue when speaking about interior aesthetics these days.
Taking a closer look at the composition of this different way of creating architecture we stumbled upon a very distinctively characterizing and mesmerizing building material called exposed aggregate concrete. By simply washing out a thin layer of concrete after taking off the mold of building parts the exposed material shows the gravel, which is holding the concrete together. The artificially generated result can be adjusted by changing the concrete recipe.
We deep dived into this topic and created our very own personal formula to get to our perception of aesthetic interpretation. Instead of using local gravel, always defining the materials appearance, we decided to go with two sorts of Italian marble gravel to create our perception of the perfect color way. A warm beige pairs with an addition of a complementing terracotta tone.
Inspired by the formal language of Berlin’s brutalist architecture and driven by our studio’s aesthetics we developed a series of seven interior objects. They demonstrate simplicity in form with a strong focus on material, a unique interpretation of proportion and material composition. Exposed aggregate concrete is put in context with carefully brushed aluminum as they create a unit. Some pieces celebrate the material as they simply consist either of pure metal translated into a soothing formal language or paying an homage to nature when giving bigger gravel pieces a stage as a ceiling hanging object. They come along as companions yet have their very own and monumental characteristics.
We embrace the cultural value of this precious architectural material. It is our answer to paying tribute to the city we live and love. Total exposure is our attempt to give a nearly forgotten and repelled material a new renaissance.
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