Polished concrete mixes with Brutalist architecture in Cremorne

The dramatic new office precinct at 84 Cubitt Street Cremorne includes stunning Geoshine™ polished concrete floors.

Polished concrete plays the part in a new, part Gothic part Brutalist-inspired office precinct in the heart of Cremorne.

With its soaring street front elevation and dramatic pointed arches, the architects may well have taken inspiration from the gothic masterpiece Notre Dame, and one half expects to see a gargoyle perched high on the building’s exterior.

Black basalt, sparkling granite and a random piece of quartzite show up beautifully on the Geoshine™ floors at Cremorne.

Inside we see a 21st century take on Brutalism, an architectural style arising in the 1950s and characterised by minimalist constructions that showcase bare building materials and structural elements over decorative design, often using exposed concrete and angular geometric shapes and a predominantly monochrome colour palette. Glass and steel are prominent features within the building, with the exterior steel archways making a glorious interruption to the expansive city views on the mid-levels. Then there is a dramatic play of contrasts between the roughness and rawness of the pitted (bush-hammered) concrete feature walls and the lustrous, silky finish of the polished concrete floors.

Marco from Tesmer Polished Concrete recommended Geocrete to builders Peter Lenassi and Alvaro Rossi of Principle Constructions to undertake the mammoth task of polishing 1400m2 of concrete across seven floors. It was important to Peter and Alvaro that they employed an exceptional company to undertake the high-quality project, and Paul Warner, an artisan at the pinnacle of his craft, was a perfect fit.

Paul meticulously ground the floors to a full stone exposure, and then polished them to a matt finish, to complement the low-sheen brass, metal and paintwork throughout the interior. The clients chose a standard grey base concrete mix and a striking aggregate of basalt and granite, which appear like precious jewels embedded in the silky stone surface.

Each floor was entirely polished concrete, including the bathrooms, an unusual feature even in affluent Cremorne. Having previously employed a team of nine men to polish 15000m2 of concrete at the Melbourne airport, Paul was no stranger to large jobs, but in this instance he worked alone, on the job six days a week for four months straight to complete the bespoke project.

Megapascals are a measure of the compressive strength of concrete; the stronger the concrete, the higher the MPa and the less likely the concrete is to fail. Usually polished concrete is 32 MPa, but on this job Paul took readings of between 50 and 80 MPa, making it the hardest concrete Paul has ever polished.

Being super-fit and focused, Paul was able to ensure consistent and premium quality across the entire building. Principle Constructions were so impressed with Paul’s work, they have invited him back to work on another architecturally designed building, this time nine stories high, on Cubitt street later in the year. Geocrete continues to climb to greater heights!

Paul Warner

Geocrete is a culmination of my study of geology, training under an Italian concrete finishing master, and decades of working with the beautiful product of concrete. I am committed to making Geocrete the most passionate and determined polished concreting company in Australia, providing my clients with the highest quality floor of any company in the world.