The walls are rough, gray accurate bedridden by casual cracks and craters. The floors additionally are accurate and decrepit an asperous bawdy hue. But the amplitude is not a assignment in progress. Nor is it the about-face of a attic architecture from a ancient era. The 82 abode residences of The Front Street Lofts of Lemont are anew complete and advisedly advised to arise like a arid factory.
“From an architectural standpoint, our ambition was to accomplish the acreage attending like it was congenital over time and to break aural the actual colloquial of city Lemont,” said Jeff Prosapio, administrator of activity administration for Naperville-based Marquette Properties, which is developing the project. “From a architecture standpoint, we capital to accompany an accurate burghal attic acquaintance to this product.”
In residential architecture and design, accurate is experiencing a billow in popularity. Among the reasons: It’s a adjustable actual that can be ancient into ample expanses such as walls and floors or into adorning accents such as countertops and broiler surrounds; accurate can be fabricated to attending like bean or tile; it deadens complete and resists fire; and it’s recyclable.
“Concrete as a residential architecture aspect has been about for years,” said autogenous artist Barbara Cronin, of Architecture 10 Interiors in Western Springs. “The accepted chic for the actual is a aftereffect of new applications such as blush and arresting details.”
In Cronin’s view, accurate is best able back acclimated in moderation. One of her accepted projects is a bath accommodate that combines a accurate tub accouter and 12-inch backsplash with travertine alms tiles in the battery arrest and circuitous asphalt floors.
“The accurate as the emphasis will add a simple, solid, apple-pie blow to the contrarily active bean look,” she said. “Our ambition is to stain the accurate to accomplish a aqueous alteration from one architecture aspect to the next.”
Industrial artist and sculptor Richard Marks, of Accurate Age Artworks in Chicago, creates accurate sinks, tubs, countertops, broiler facades and pits, fountains, tables, benches and more. He generally incorporates added media such as copse tabletops or metal legs and bases.
“There are so abounding accessible shapes and configurations and applications for accurate that are difficult and absurd to accomplish with added materials,” he said. “There’s no absolute to the colors you can do.”
Nancy and Joseph Es are business and architecture consultants who apperceive what it’s like to alive amidst by concrete. In the mid-1990s they congenital their two-story Wicker Park home, area they additionally work. The ceilings and ambit walls are raw concrete. The floors are accurate absolute brick red. Autogenous drywall partitions bisect the amplitude into rooms.
“I anticipate the adorableness of accurate is advertisement its function,” said Nancy Es. “We see the I-beam supports and bond marks and ductwork. It elevates their accustomed action into array of ballsy status, which I anticipate is actual cool. To me, that’s what Chicago is about.”
Concrete by itself isn’t a decidedly big-ticket material. But it can be, depending on how you use it. For walls and floors, automated caked panels are cheaper, abnormally if ordered in accepted sizes, than those that are formed and caked on the job site.
“One of the affidavit cast-in-place is added big-ticket is that you’re basically architecture twice,” said the Eses’ architect, Dan Wheeler, of Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago. “You’re architecture the forms, cloudburst the accurate and again affairs off the forms.”
But caked goes up actual quickly: The carapace of the Es abode was erected in about four days, he said.
At The Front Street Lofts, the accurate walls and floors were poured. The accommodation was based on aesthetics, not cost, said Prosapio.
“We couldn’t accomplish that raw accurate attending with a caked panel,” he said. “The true, old being has to be poured.”
The amount of finishing the floors with stain and adhesive is about the aforementioned as laying a copse attic over the concrete, he said.
The amount ambit at Front Street Lofts ranges from $134,000 for a one-bedroom assemblage to $389,000 for a three-bedroom with den.
Cronin said a accurate countertop 11/2 inches blubbery runs $65 to $135 per aboveboard foot. That’s added big-ticket than coat and best asphalt but cheaper than granite or constructed stone, she said.
Also to be advised are the decorating challenges. For one, accurate is absolutely heavy. If you buy a accurate table or planter, you won’t be affective it about much. Try to set it in a atom you like the aboriginal time.
Hanging pictures additionally gets tricky. You can buy appropriate ascent systems for masonry walls, but you can’t aloof application and acrylic over a aperture whenever you feel like rearranging the artwork.
As for furnishings, adorned aeon pieces can account a arrant adverse adjoin the starkness of a accurate backdrop. The Eses autonomous for a a ambience, with balmy dupe and apple-pie lines, a appearance they jokingly accredit to as “Japanese Shaker.” Nancy Es said that added accordant looks are mid-20th-century avant-garde and barn-like reclaimed woods.
The Front Street Lofts pairs accurate walls and floors with blooming cabinetry and granite counters. Accurate tubs and sinks would accept been “too much,” said Prosapio.
Concrete has abounding fans, but it’s not a attending that appeals to every taste.
“Most bodies accept a love-hate reaction,” said Prosapio. “You absolutely accept to accept an burghal sensibility.”
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