Concrete by Matali Crasset 21.06.13

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Concrete by LCDA is a small but rapidly expanding French company based near Angers. Its three founders have perfected and patented a technique of lightening concrete using a honeycombing process that involves injecting transparent resin between layers. The result is Béton Lège, a high-performance concrete that is three times lighter than its classic predecessor.

Concrete by LCDA appointed industrial designer Matali Crasset artistic director in 2011 and asked her to create first wall panels, then a range of furniture for the home. "Concrete is a noble product, like pure steel," says Julien Delalande one of the partners. "It's also 100 percent made in France, so it made perfect sense to us to create products for the luxury sector with this new material. Balenciaga has ordered wall panels for its boutiques. We've just delivered to Yves Saint Laurent in Berlin, Paris and London."

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Crasset already had an affinity with concrete. "It's malleable, you can do exactly what you like with it and it's contemporary and long-lasting – it's an authentic material with real soul. Seeing it in a domestic environment ruptures our expectations."

Crasset has developed four pieces of furniture for the home: the Point de Rencontre table, which seats up to 10 people, the Backbone of Knowledge bookcase, the Point de Suspension lamp and the One Cut cube, which can be used as a low table, stool or foot rest. The 18kg lamp was inspired by the pre-radar "sound mirrors" installed on the Kent coast between the two world wars to provide early warning of incoming enemy aircraft over the Channel.

Was the name Point de Rencontre ("meeting point") an attempt at a feminine touch? "Intuitively, yes," Crasset says. "Concrete is intrinsically a masculine substance, rough and solid. I named all the objects in the collection to reassess the items. I want to give concrete its place within the home by producing furniture that's midway between sculpture and architecture."

Two further stages of the project are currently under development: the Concrete Hub, a website that features the history and development of concrete; and the Concrete Lab, a website that will allow young designers to experiment with new processes and to develop concepts that can be produced at a distance – a virtual concrete workshop.

 

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Concrete by LCDA

 

Words

Jean Grogan

quotes story

It's malleable, you can do exactly what you like with it and it's contemporary and long-lasting

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