Concrete is an innovative, composite material that starts in liquid form and can be placed, sprayed, hand-packed or poured. It can be applied in a variety of methods and hardens into a high density surface material that allows for infinite customization possibilities. The concrete artisans at Stone Design have been at the forefront of concrete’s transition from its commercial roots to a sophisticated finish for the architecture and design community.
Not all concrete is created equally. Using premium cement, refined sand and carefully selected natural stone aggregates, the team at Stone Design create thoughtfully engineered concrete and terrazzo architectural finishes for residential or commercial applications. Concrete resists erosion, rotting and rusting proving to be a preferred material for the damp west coast.
Stone Design and its sister company, Szolyd Concrete, can create durable concrete applications in a range of modern colours, unique natural stone aggregates and tactile textures. “The beauty of concrete is that it can be any colour you want to create unique applications,” says Nolan Mayrhofer, owner of Stone Design.
Polished concrete flooring with integrated hydronic heating is a popular choice for many homeowners for the clean, modern aesthetic it offers. “We can pour concrete in a thin profile to join other materials, like hardwood flooring,” says Mayrhofer, who adds that one of their specialties is creating seamless transitions where two materials meet using divider strips of zinc or brass in various thicknesses.
White is the most obvious shade for modern concrete installations but Stone Design can create any colour and recently created pink concrete floors with white marble for The Vanity Lab, a medical spa in Vancouver. White is also popular for precast panels, planters, cladding, and architectural features. Architects and designers can provide Mayrhofer with colour samples and he can match it using his own alchemy in his “lab.”
Their recent work on a heritage home, originally designed by Arthur Erickson, has Mayrhofer and his team recreating a white terrazzo matrix with brass divider strips, something Erickson liked to utilize in his designs.
“We’ve done everything from etching logos and sophisticated multi-coloured images into floors to bronze inlays, transparent concrete, and even glow in the dark concrete applications. Anything you can imagine,” says Mayrhofer, whose love of the artistry side of concrete is obvious. “You can even blow up an image and etch that into your floor or on the side of your house; you can basically make whatever you want.”
Mayrhofer’s depth of technical knowledge yields a wide range of products including exterior cladding. Ductal, an ultra high-performance concrete, was used in all south and most west faces of the house shown here. Various greys, charcoal and white mixes were randomly placed resulting in something Mayrhofer’s wife calls “50 shades of grey.” It is surface mounted with blue skin and rain screen resulting in a non flammable, zero maintenance siding; this stuff is indestructible.
“As people want more durable products, they are willing to invest in concrete and with the price of wood on the rise, the market gets better and better for us.”