In my early twenties, I became fascinated with property and in particular historical buildings. At the time I lived in the UK and at that time homes were relatively affordable. This prompted me to invest in Edwardian and Victorian dwellings that needed restoring to their former glory. Characteristics like cast iron fireplaces, sash windows and original floorboards were really in vogue. For that reason, I spent many a weekend scouring reclamation yards for hidden treasures. Around a decade ago I moved to Australia and started gravitating towards modernistic houses. This was the catalyst for writing many books about architecture including my latest release entitled ‘Concrete Houses’.
In the last few years, concrete has become a very popular choice in contemporary architecture. Certainly, devising a shortlist of twenty phenomenal residential homes for my ‘Concrete Houses’ book was exceptionally rewarding. However, nowadays concrete is now a go-to for many designers. For example, exclusive audio brand Master & Dynamics collaborated on an exceptional concrete MA770 Bluetooth speaker with acclaimed British architect Sir David Adjaye. There are other great examples like Hublot’s ‘Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York’ timepiece and Broken Liquid’s sublime concrete/laminated glass sculptures. I also recently discovered a fantastic product called ‘The Factory’ from Material Immaterial Studio.
Material Immaterial Studio is based in Mumbai and creates a range of distinctive products from concrete. My main contact is Nitin Barchha, who as a trained architect has designed homes for a variety of prestigious clients. He explained “The Factory is a monumental monolith of an abandoned factory, which in its heyday was alive with the huffing and puffing of boisterous machinery. The factory served as a foundry where iron ore was melted down to forge steel components for the revolutionized city”. What the company have created is a wonderful scaled-down version, which is meticulous in every detail.
The inspiration behind ‘The Factory’ was to create a concrete sculpture that pays tribute to the bygone industrial age. It is also a celebration of the brutalist style of architecture. However, this piece also is a kinetic piece of art. A rolling steel ball-bearing (which symbolises the glowing magma) navigates its way through miniature narrow channels, gangways and tall chimneys. Not everyone will see the appeal of ‘The Factory’, especially if you don’t favour the aesthetic of raw concrete. However, I absolutely love the concept and applaud Material Immaterial Studio for creating such an ingenious product.
For more information about Material Immaterial Studio and ‘The Factory’ follow this link