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One of the exciting aspects of Design is the ability to try new materials and ideas in order to change the way we perceive space. Either by fusing materials together or enhancing its natural state, we find that the true beauty of a space can come directly from the materials we select. For a moment, forget the use of unnatural elements such as carpets, wall coverings and colours, and think about appreciating a space solely based on its Natural Architectural form.
NATURAL STATE OF MATERIALS
In its natural state, concrete creates an assortment of textures that can heighten the experience of the space. By imprinting the texture of the formwork onto a wall surface, we can create a rough-textured surface that not only highlights the effect of natural light embracing its surface, but we can give contrast to two intersecting walls. Working with materials this way, we are able to use it to demarcate different zones within the home and also break up the monotony of a space.
Concrete can also be used for the floor. By changing the colour and effect of floor concrete, for example, through the use of a light epoxy finish, we can set the tone of the overall room, creating a natural urban look rather than overloading the space with overly-interior-designed space-enhancement materials.
We can also make a space work by using many different materials. But there are some simple ground rules. For example, in this scenario where the four surface planes are in four different materials, the combination needs to be treated carefully; otherwise you could be stuck with a visually-distracting environment.
Here the Jacuzzi is sunken into the floor to create an expanse of space. The natural timber used for the flooring adds a lot to the ambience, establishing a spa feel. The large picture window meanwhile brings in the natural light, further enhancing the impression of space, by bringing the outdoors indoors and visually expanding the room. The other two planes play an important role in balancing the glass and timber. By having a white-coloured wall, it helps improve the visual connectivity with the glass wall. This is another example of successful yin and yang at play.
Textured concrete is used on the ceiling to create a neutral tone to balance out the white wall and timber floor. This key element is essential in pulling these two contrasting colours together. If the ceiling were in timber or white plaster, these elements would then dominate the space, making it feel unbalanced. The natural concrete helps to balance out the space, and blends the surrounding materials together.
So unlike the earlier example where the concrete texture is used to sandwich the room to create feature pieces, this scenario uses the concrete plane to pull the surrounding textures together.
When dealing with materials, always remember that they can adapt to different colour tones and textures, and by adjusting these elements in different scenarios, we can see how simple manipulation in of a single material can help achieve the balance you are looking for.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (September/October 2012)". To subscribe, please click here.