Knowing we have a serious thing for concrete, Lydia Wills sent us this picture of a light fixture designed in 1960 by Le Corbusier for the Chandigarth Zoo in India. It’s massive – about a yard across, a yard high and 22 inches deep – yet wonderfully graceful. We’d buy it if had $36,000 to spare (what it went for recently at auction) and could move it. But we’re happy just to have seen it: our view expanded about the possibilities of cast concrete (as Marcel Breuer did once with concrete block).

Like so many things that come our way, the photo of Le Corbusier’s extraordinary light fixture sent us following one idea after another…we started learning about cast concrete, wondering if we could do it ourselves…envisioning not just a Tobias Wong-inspired door stop made by using an Aalto, or other vase, as a mold for concrete…but something BIG (why haven’t we seen any concrete slabs as bed frames? yes, yes, too heavy, we know….)…we were wondering how to get hold of bigger-than-a-doorstop molds for concrete and discovered the Smooth-On Liquid Rubber that can be poured, brushed or sprayed onto whatever you want to make a mold…hhmm…

Wondering about Changidarth was sent us to India, and the discovery that Le Corbusier had been invited to design India’s first planned city there…he ended up designing part of the city and some monumental buildings…which we’d never seen before…

Paul Prudence via Flickr

Frederick M. Asher

…All these chunks of information are fueling our imagination…Who knows where they’ll lead?

We’re dreaming of concrete tonight…

Thanks Lydia!

Top image: Wright

Related post: Concrete Block Love

Missing Tobias Wong

Concrete Block Love

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5 replies on “dreaming in concrete

  1. Though it is possible to “do it yourself”, concrete is a picky material. If you are not careful you will get spalls, excessive cracking and voids if the concrete is not vibrated mixed, or “finished” ( troweled) correctly. Additionally, adequate, and proper reinforcement ( bars, welded wire mesh or light weight wire) is necessary for many formed concrete items. Forming concrete is literally like thinking inside out. ( talk about thinking outside the box!)
    One other side note, it is possible to use styrofoam “centers” to lighten up the mass of concrete, and thereby the weight, and then form and pour around the styrofoam.

  2. Thanks for the hot tip. We will post something it….

  3. Yeah, I hear you, Nina. My way has been to plunge in…imagine, then read what a variety of people say about how to do things…then starting trying it myself, and make lots of mistakes/discoveries in the process. YOU are a person I would like to live next door to, or be able to beam over, to learn just such brilliant bits as “Forming concrete is literally like thinking inside out”. I don’t know what I will actually make one day, but I sure have big imaginings about concrete. And just the other day I saw someone had used styrofoam packing as a mold for concrete, but REALLY interesting to thinking about it being used as a center to lighten it. Thanks a million for your thoughtful words… Sally

  4. If your a carpenter you could create some wonderful casts and form your own concrete sculptures.

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