Concrete Box House is a modern, box-shaped house designed by Robertson Design. The house is made up of three parts: a wooden box, a concrete box and a concrete wall. The careful placement of these three elements creates a house-sculpture with a unique sequence of spaces.
Robertson Design is an architectural firm based in Houston, Texas. The studio's designs are characterised by a modernist style with Japanese influences. Concrete Box House is no exception. The design contains three exceptional features: sculptural presence, a carefully chosen access route and material clarity. These are all three elements of traditional Japanese architecture.
Sculptural presence, a carefully chosen access route and material clarity.
The sculptural presence of the building is visible in both the interior and exterior. On the outside, the house consists of volumes placed against each other. This results in height differences and an interesting division of spaces inside. To enter the house you have to walk between the concrete volume and the concrete wall. Then you enter one of the two patios. Next, you go around the corner and arrive at the front door. The entrance to the house can only be reached via this specific entry sequence. As a visitor, the building guides you around the premises like the route you have to follow in a sculpture garden. The house is surrounded by two patios that make up the view you see from the kitchen and the dining room. Simple materiality translates into the visibility of the materials used. The concrete walls are not masked with paint or extra layers but are simply left rough. Just like the wooden volume that is also left natural. Concrete Box House cannot be called romantic and soft because it is simple, brutalist, even, in the use of materials and form. The strength of the building lies in its formal simplicity. However, this does not mean that the house is architecturally simple. It is the hidden complexity that makes the building an interesting structure. Photography: Jack Thompson