People’s Choice Award a Close Call in Concrete Contest
Berkeley, CA (NOVEMBER 2013) – CHENG Concrete has reinvented its nearly decade-long concrete design challenge with the first of a new series—the Kitchen & Bath Concrete Maker Challenge. Launched early this fall, the Concrete Challenge was open to any concrete maker, either do-it-yourselfer or professional, with a kitchen or bath project made with any of the following CHENG mix products: Countertop Pro-Formula, NeoMix Original, or D-FRC (Decorative Fiber Reinforced Concrete). After a one-month entry period, the People’s Choice Award Winner was selected by the voting public followed by the Fu-Tung Cheng Award Winner chosen by Fu-Tung Cheng, founder of CHENG Concrete and CHENG Design.
Fu-Tung Cheng Award Winner
Cheng picked Jonathan Seaman’s Integral Guitar Sink as the Fu-Tung Cheng Award Winner. Integral Guitar Sink was designed and fabricated in the shape of a guitar for a music venue and utilizes a custom-fabricated, retro-style microphone as a faucet fixture. Made with CHENG D-FRC in a custom color, Integral Guitar Sink measures 8’-0” x 3’-0” with a 6-inch drop edge and weighs nearly 400 lbs. Other than CHENG D-FRC BackingBlend, the oversized integral sink requires no reinforcement. Jonathan’s company, Infistone Concrete & Design, located in Lexington, KY, specializes in concrete kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, integral sinks, and concrete furniture for both residential and commercial environments.
CHENG Stepping Stone Molds and Outdoor Pro-Formula at Maker Faire
San Mateo, CA (MAY 16, 2013) – CHENG Concrete will showcase a series of five Concrete Garden Stepping Stone Molds at Maker Faire at the San Mateo County Events Center, May 18 and 19, 2013. The Berkeley, CA-based company is an online how-to center offering concrete design for the home, instruction and information anchored by a store featuring a complete line of products for making indoor and outdoor concrete projects.
The stepping stone molds were designed by Fu-Tung Cheng, founder of CHENG Concrete and acclaimed custom home designer. Inspired by historic and contemporary design, art, architecture, and nature references, Cheng and his team designed the Alhambra, Aspen, Halsta, Morphos and Woody Concrete Garden Stepping Stone Molds to range from classic to contemporary. These molds were developed to make it easy for do-it-yourselfers of various skill levels to create unique stepping stones for any landscape, garden, patio, backyard or outdoor entry space.
ARCHITECTURAL CONCRETE INTERIORS
Project Location: Phoenix, AZ
Total Retail Price: $21,000
Weight: 12,000 lbs
Concrete Mix: Custom
Other Materials: Cold rolled steel, powder coated steel
Turn-around Time: 2.5 weeks
Design: Cody Carpenter
Cody Carpenter was awarded Best of Show, Best Bath, Best Integral Sink, and Best Fireplace in the 2012 CHENG Concrete Circle of Distinction Design Challenge by judges Fu-Tung Cheng, designer (Cheng Design, Cheng Products, CHENG Concrete), Miranda Jones, former Style Editor of Sunset Magazine, and Jim Peterson, president of Concretenetwork.com. Dominating the competition this year with the Best of Show and three Best in Category winning projects, Carpenter also received four honorable mentions in the Outdoor Living, Furniture, and Sculpture categories.
The Best of Show award went to Carpenter of Architectural Concrete Interiors (ACI) located in Phoenix, AZ, for Timo Bar, a commercial restaurant project for which Carpenter acted as general contractor, designer, and fabricator to produce an extraordinary concrete piece. Using a form made of finish-grade plywood veneered with high gloss laminate, Carpenter decided on the cast-in-place method to develop a sense of visual movement by playing with and creating varied color striations in the monolithic piece.
Project Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Total Retail Price: N/A
Weight: 1,100 lbs
Concrete Mix: CHENG Pro-Formula Olive
Other Materials: Grade 316 stainless steel burner, pan and marbles
Turn-around Time: 3 weeks
Design: Dania Andrade, ANCUBA
LEMONS TO LEMONADE
Dania Andrade’s Groovy Pit was awarded Best Outdoor Living in the 2012 CHENG Concrete Circle of Distinction Design Challenge by judges Fu-Tung Cheng, designer (Cheng Design, Cheng Products, CHENG Concrete), Miranda Jones, Style Editor of Sunset Magazine, and Jim Peterson, president of Concretenetwork.com. A happy accident combined with Andrade’s creativity and experience with concrete produced an amazing outdoor fire pit and a very happy client.
What was the client’s objective for the project?
ANDRADE: My client wanted a cozy outdoor space.
What made this project unique?
ANDRADE: This space is very narrow and linear; we wanted to break that “straightness” in the outdoor area.
It’s funny how an accident made this piece so important. It really is unique because we happened to have a bad batch of mix. When we finished pouring the piece we saw some orange color in the mix after vibrating (we used Olive color Pro-Formula Mix). I really did not know why or how it would finish out. When we de-molded the piece, we were surprised to find a really green top and an orange swirly wall finish. It looked awesome. Of course, this was not what I had originally intended to sell to my client. So I asked her to come in and check it out and she totally liked it. So this turned to be a very unique piece because we probably won’t be able to get this finish again.
STICKS + STONES FURNITURE
Calvin Coffee Table
Project Location: Sechelt, British Columbia
Total Retail Price: $2,000
Weight: 200 lbs
Concrete Mix: Custom
Other Materials: Local Douglas Fir wood and modern industrial wheels
Turn-around Time: 4 weeks
Design: Roland Benesocky
Yves St. Hilaire’s Calvin Coffee Table was awarded Best Furniture in the 2012 CHENG Concrete Circle of Distinction Design Challenge by judges Fu-Tung Cheng, designer (Cheng Design, Cheng Products, CHENG Concrete), Miranda Jones, Style Editor of Sunset Magazine, and Jim Peterson, president of Concretenetwork.com. This beautiful and functional table demonstrates the perfect combining of concrete and wood, with both materials shown to their best advantage.
What was the main objective for the project?
ST. HILAIRE: The underlying concept for this piece—as with all of Sticks + Stones Furniture—is for the simple beauty of natural materials to combine with a cozy, yet contemporary style to create a unique, extremely solid and ultimately functional coffee table. Lovingly crafted from locally sourced Douglas Fir and 3” thick, smooth and highly polished concrete, the Calvin Coffee Table comes equipped with special industrial designed wheels for ease-of-movement. The piece was specifically designed with three open sides to conveniently store magazines, books or remotes, ensuring this table adds both easy functionality as well as simple and natural elegance to any living space.
Was there any special challenge of the project that you overcame? What was it and how did you meet that challenge?
ST. HILAIRE: The balance of wood and concrete was the main concern. The simplicity is what makes this piece stand out.
MADE BY WOOD
Project Location: DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY
Total Retail Price: $5,000
Weight: 1,200 lbs
Concrete Mix: CHENG Pro-Formula Platinum
Turn-around Time: 10 weeks
Design: Paul Wood, Mary Chan, Mark Williams, Evan Eisman
Paul Wood’s Concrete Carrot was awarded a Presidents’ Award in the 2012 CHENG Concrete Circle of Distinction Design Challenge by CHENG Concrete co-presidents Annalyn Chargualaf-Peluso and Mike Heidebrink. Wood’s extensive furniture-making experience conquered the challenges of producing a massive piece that brilliantly showcases concrete, glass, and steel.
What was the client’s objective for the project?
WOOD: The client – a digital design and marketing agency – is on the top floor of a building in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, which looks directly over the Manhattan Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. They wanted something big and bold, but which also had classic lines that would stand the test of time. And because the firm uses Apple computers exclusively, they were seeking a furniture design that would complement the simple, clean lines of Apple’s design aesthetic.
What made this project unique/ important?
WOOD: My workshop is in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and I draw a lot of my inspiration from the surrounding environment – it’s this wonderful tension between industrial elements, the waterfront, and a growing mix of business and residential activity. It always excites me to work on projects in the Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan areas because there are so many disparate elements that all somehow work together. One of the most compelling things about the job was that I would be using multiple different materials, which meant that I would need to collaborate with other people and disciplines – it was such a perfect parallel to the environment I work in daily, and which inspires much of my design sensibility. I was also drawn to the fact that the project was being commissioned by a highly creative group, which gave me the runway I needed to experiment with my own creativity.
2012 Concrete Competition Showcases Infinite Possibilities:
CHENG Concrete Announces 8th Annual Circle of Distinction Design Award Winners
BERKELEY, CA (June 2012) — Fu-Tung Cheng announced the winners of CHENG Concrete’s 2012 Circle of Distinction Design Challenge, the longest running awards competition of its kind honoring design and craftsmanship in decorative concrete. The Design Challenge featured 9 entry categories including Bath, Integral Sink, Outdoor Living, Furniture, Fireplace, Commercial/Retail, Sculpture, and Interior Kitchen. New this year was a category for entries made of D-FRC (Decorative Fiber Reinforced Concrete) and GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete).
Judges for the 2012 Circle of Distinction Design Challenge were Fu-Tung Cheng, founder of Cheng Design, CHENG Concrete and ConcreteExchange.com, Jim Peterson, founder of ConcreteNetwork.com, and Miranda Jones, Style Editor of Sunset magazine. Entries were judged on Elements & Principles of Design, Design Planning, Innovative Concept / Forward Thinking, Creativity / Innovation, Use of Color, Presentation, Innovative Forming Techniques, and Client Problem Solving.
Entries were submitted by CHENG Concrete Exchange Members, a group of skilled concrete artisans, many of whom trained under Cheng. Of the 104 entries, the judging panel awarded a Best of Category in each of the 9 categories, 19 Honorable Mentions, and one Best of Show. Additionally, co-presidents of CHENG Concrete awarded two Presidents’ Awards for entries of special merit.
Sponsors for the Design Challenge included Interstar, Sakrete, Crete Molds, and Alpha Professional Tools.
BEST OF SHOW: CODY CARPENTER
The Best of Show award went to Cody Carpenter of Architectural Concrete Interiors (ACI) located in Phoenix, AZ, for Timo Bar, a commercial restaurant project for which Carpenter acted as general contractor, designer, and fabricator to produce an extraordinary concrete piece. Using a form made of finish-grade plywood veneered with high gloss laminate, Carpenter decided on the cast-in-place method to develop a sense of visual movement by playing with and creating varied color striations in the monolithic piece.
“I wanted to give the counter space a more defined separation of finish, so I decided to seed the top with glass aggregate, and grind/polish into the aggregates,” says Carpenter. “At the seam at the long run, I created a channel with inlaid thunder eggs which I was given by a fellow artisan that hand-collected them in the Seattle area.” The bar features a hammered foot rail set into the concrete wall that doubles as protection from chair legs and a removable powder-coated pewter bar countertop shot rail cleverly suspended on inlaid steel pins.
Asked why the judges selected Carpenter’s work as Best of Show, Cheng describes, “We appreciated the massive and complex form building it took to create this site-cast work in a restaurant. From the compound corner that looks like a reverse wave to the exquisite detail of the wrought iron bar; and the contrast between the slick surfaces and the delicate inlays, to the grout finish—bold and ambitious, this was a clear winner.”
CHENG Concrete Makes the Great Outdoors Even Better with New Mix
Berkeley, CA (MAY 2012) – CHENG Concrete, LLC, announces the debut of CHENG Outdoor Concrete Pro-Formula, the newest addition to the time-tested CHENG Pro-Formula line celebrating its 10th year as the concrete mix formulation trusted by concrete professionals. Continuing the tradition of high performance standards, the new CHENG Outdoor Concrete Pro-Formula is formulated for both precast and pour-in-place applications in several popular colors. It allows professionals and do-it-yourselfers to make designer-quality outdoor concrete projects including planters, benches, fire tables and fire pits, barbeque surrounds, furniture, tabletops and garden sculpture.
Fu-Tung Cheng, founder of CHENG Concrete and author of best-selling Concrete Countertops, developed CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula for his own award-winning design projects, blending crack-prevention agents, the finest grade fade-resistant pigments, and freeze-thaw additives that provide built-in climate flexibility. Cheng explains, “With CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula plus local bagged concrete and water, anyone can create a superior, more durable concrete with a designer-finish—perfect for any outdoor project.”
GREAT FOR BOTH PROS + DO-IT-YOURSELFERS
CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula will appeal to concrete and building professionals as well as the occasional do-it-yourselfer. According to Mike Heidebrink, President of CHENG Concrete, “Pros will like how CHENG Outdoor eliminates having to buy materials from different sources, inventorying them, and needing the real estate to store materials only available by the pallet.”
“It’ll also save a crew from needing to measure and consistently blend multiple materials. Time and resources are better spent focused on concrete forming and detailed finishing,” explained Heidebrink.
While appealing to the professional, Heidebrink describes how well CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula works for do-it-yourselfers: the mix is designed and pre-measured, offering more time for what’s important—creativity. Simply adding locally-sourced bagged concrete mix and water to a 1 cu.ft. Outdoor Pro-Formula package will yield a ready-to-go, workable mix that delivers professional results.
CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula is available in six customer favorite colors─Charcoal, Sand, Saddle, Stone, Amber and Platinum─as well as Base which, when blended with CHENG Base Pigments, creates an unlimited custom coloring system. CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula provides the user consistent, fade-resistant color, strength performance, and desired surface finish results with each outdoor project.
By JIM CARLTON
The following is an excerpt from
At least one green building technology costs less right out of the gate: concrete countertops. Inspired by "Concrete Countertops: Design, Forms and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath," a book by designer Fu-Tung Cheng of Berkeley, Calif., builders around the U.S. have taken to making countertops by mixing their own concrete on a home site. The technique is considered both greener and cheaper because the concrete doesn't have to be shipped like the more prevalent granite counters, says Mr. Chandler, who began building them last year. According to online calculators, it costs around $1,100 to make 50 square feet of concrete countertop, compared with $2,000 for granite. But the do-it-yourself approach has its drawbacks. "The challenge is getting the right training for your crew," Mr. Chandler says. "You have to know how to reinforce steel in the right way. It's not intuitive."