The structural components of the three-bedroom home are primarily concrete, with elements of steel. While the heavy walls of the ground floor anchor the home to the earth, the second storey – which cantilevers out over the north-facing alfresco sitting area – is a lightweight structure, supported by ‘a couple of decent-sized steel beams’ and swathed in vertical timber planks of silvery, pre-aged Jarrah and Karri.
The pared-back lines and absolute clarity of the Concrete House’s architecture meant that every aspect of the construction and finish had to be millimetre-perfect. While a specialist concreter had been lined up to oversee this aspect of the build, he reneged at the last moment, pushing David and his team well out of their comfort zone. ‘It meant that we, as carpenters, had to take on the construction of the concrete walls.’
After an intensive research program and seeking ‘a lot of advice’, they started building the formwork. ‘to build the walls and beams for the study, It took four guys about four weeks, full time, on the formwork and steel, and then we poured it in a day and then a few days later, we’d strip it in a day,’ David says. ‘It’s quite a strange way to build, in that you build the house and then you almost pull it down again, just in the formwork. There’s so much involved in it.’