Part of the designer’s art is to understand the possibilities of materials. Sometimes they can elevate materials beyond their original intentions–a piece of wood becomes an incredible piece of furniture…some shiny chunks of minerals become a diamond brooch.
Cinder blocks or concrete masonry units (cmu) are one of the most frequently used building materials in gardens and elsewhere. They are also usually covered up–often by veneered stone, stucco or paint. Outside, sometimes they’re used by clever DIYers as planters–those can be quite artful as seen at the Philadelphia Flower Show several years ago.
Cut to the chase…in Chelsea Market in New York, this lowly behind the scenes player is made clean and modern and totally sophisticated. Combined simply with other materials…brick and granite block…the lowly cmu comes into its own.