Aerial view of Camber Sands houses

Ten houses made from colourful concrete

Concrete is usually associated with an industrial-looking shade of grey, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Here, Dezeen rounds up 10 concrete houses that bring colour to the material.

Pink coastal house
Top and above photos by Richard Chivers

Seabreeze, UK, by RX Architects

This holiday home on the English south coast is covered in smooth pink concrete.

Given an open brief, British studio RX Architects opted for a playful design for the  project that references Mediterranean beach houses.

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Red concrete house by Sanden+Hodnekvam
Photo is by Sanden+Hodnekvam Arkitekter

House in Red Concrete, Norway, by Sanden+Hodnekvam Arkitekter

The distinctive red colour of this concrete house in the Norwegian town of Lillehammer was achieved by adding iron oxide to the mix.

To keep the project affordable, Osl0-based studio Sanden+Hodnekvam Arkitekter chose to use prefabricated insulated concrete panels, which gave the facade its geometric pattern.

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Swimming pool view of Villa 19 of Palmares Ocean Living & Golf resort by RCR Architectes
Photo courtesy of RCR Arquitectes

Signature Villas, Portugal, by RCR Arquitectes

Built at a seaside resort in the Algarve, these luxury villas designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Catalan studio RCR Arquitectes are formed of overlapping planes of red-pigmented concrete.

The houses have angular wall surfaces, with no clear front or back to the buildings because of the way rooms fan out from one another.

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P House by Tectoniques Architetectes in Lyon
Photo is by Jérôme Ricolleau

P House, France, by Tectoniques

The semi-buried P House, in Saint-Cyr-au-d'Or, was constructed from specially developed concrete dyed with ochre. The concrete was vibrated manually to release air bubbles and produce a thick, imperfect finish.

Architecture firm Tectoniques, which usually specialises in timber buildings, took on the project as an experiment. Inside, concrete is contrasted with oak woodwork and flooring and bleached spruce ceilings.

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Mazul Beachfront Villas by Revolution
Photo is by Mauricio Guerrero

Mazul Beachfront Villas, Mexico, by Revolution

Designed by Mexican architecture studio Revolution, the Mazul Beachfront Villas are located on the Oaxaca coast facing the Pacific Ocean.

Built from a combination of rough brick and smooth red concrete to complement their beachy surroundings, the villas were named rural house of the year at the 2021 Dezeen Awards.

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Casa Calafia in Mexico by Red Arquitectos
Photo is by Miguel Angel Vazquez Calanchini

Casa Calafia, Mexico, by RED Arquitectos

Named after a mythical warrior queen, Casa Calafia in Mexico's Baja California Sur was built from concrete that was given a reddish earthy tone using natural pigments.

It was designed by RED Arquitectos as a holiday home for an American couple.

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Rusty coloured concrete house
Photo is by Paul Tierney

Rustic House, Ireland, by Urban Agency

Iron oxide powder was used to give this concrete extension to a traditional cottage in Ireland's County Kerry a rusty colour that mimics the corrugated steel barns of the surrounding countryside.

Architecture firm Urban Agency chose concrete because of the remote site's high exposure to wind and rain, but cast the material in situ using wooden boards to give it the texture of timber.

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By the Way House by Robert Konieczny KWK Promes
Photo is by Olo Studio/Juliusz Sokołowski/Jarosław Syrek

House on the Road, Poland, by KWK Promes

Robert Konieczny's studio KWK Promes designed this house to look as if it had emerged out of a winding white concrete road running through the site.

Inside the building's concrete shell is an exact replica of the client's former apartment.

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Black concrete house by Edition Office
Photo is by Ben Hosking

Federal House, Australia, by Edition Office

Architecture practice Edition Office used black-pigmented concrete and timber battens to build this imposing-looking house dug into a hillside in rural New South Wales.

"At a distance the building is recessive, a shadow within the vast landscape," said the Melbourne-based studio.

"On closer inspection, a highly textural outer skin of thick timber battens contrasts the earlier sense of a machined tectonic, allowing organic materials gestures to drive the dialogue with physical human intimacy."

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The exterior of Casa Majalca by OAX
Photo is by Paco Álvarez

Casa Majalca, Mexico, by OAX Arquitectos

Local artisans were employed to manufacture irregular and natural-looking concrete formwork for this earth-coloured holiday home situated in the Cumbres de Majalca National Park in northern Mexico.

"The color blends in with the land, making reference to the cultural past of the archaeological sites of Paquimé and Casas Grandes," said OAX Arquitectos.

Find out more about Casa Majalca ›