Precast concrete is fast being recognised as one of the most versatile building products that is now available to architects and designers. In the first instance, it allows a high proportion of the structural work associated with any building project to be completed to an exemplary standard off site. This saves both time and money.
Precast concretes unique aesthetic qualities, demonstrated by the bespoke wood finish facade panels, featured in the privately owned Warren Cottage located in the Coombe Wood conservation area of London.
Back in 2012, the team at Kilrea-based McGarry-Moon architects were commissioned to renovate the then dilapidated cottage into a new family home. The end result comprised a total overhaul of the existing structure plus the development of a 176m2 extension. A separate 72m2 garden room was also included in the project brief.
“Our brief was to make what was already on site into a functional family home while adding to the character and heritage of the original building,” confirmed principal architect Steven Moon.
“The project was completed in July 2016, following a two-year construction phase. Our design for the extension centered on the optimal use of glass, in order to capture the maximum amount of light, plus the use of bespoke board marked concrete wall panels.”
According to Steven board-marked concrete is the name for a process of patterning concrete that leaves a wood grain image on the finished face of the concrete. It is a method of construction that is being used more frequently these days because concrete is extremely well-suited as a finished material in modern design, and by imprinting the wood grain on the surface, it visually softens and warms concrete’s somewhat cooler appearance while still allowing concrete to express the construction technique.
“But we did not want to be adding the board marked effect on site. The alternative is to use wall panels that have been made in specific board marked moulds.”