We always get a little chuckle when the use of concrete gets a pejorative sniff from supposed devotees of luxury. There’s certainly no denying the material’s humble nature, but to dismiss it as cold or dull strikes us as simply unimaginative. Apparently designer William Hall, whose resume boasts time at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and in the office of John Pawson, agrees. His handsome monograph, Concrete , just out from Phaidon Press (where Hall also did time as design director), is a fine compendium of new and old projects categorized into eight chapters with titles such as Form, Texture, Mass, and Scale.
We were, in fact, delighted to find Ensamble Studio’s Truffle , a tiny private residence on the rocky Spanish coast, alongside Louis I. Kahn’s Phillips Exeter Academy Library. Fine photography and minimal text inspires further research about each project, while Wabi Sabi author Leonard Koren offers an expressionistic meditation on the material by way of introduction. In Concrete, the aforementioned devotees will find rich reward, indeed.