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Lemons to Lemonade
This concrete fire table was made with CHENG Pro-Formula Concrete Countertop Mix Olive and has a grade 316 stainless steel burner and pan. It took around 3 weeks to complete and weighs over 1,000 lbs. A happy accident combined with Dania Andrade’s creativity and experience with concrete produced an amazing outdoor fire pit and a very happy client.
Project Objective + Client Feedback
What was the client’s objective for the project?
Dania: My client wanted a cozy outdoor space.
What made this project unique?
Dania: 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.
Was there any special challenge of the project that you overcame? What was it and how did you meet that challenge? (complexity of the design, budget, schedule, etc.?)
Dania: It was just a little more labor on the making of the mold than usual.
How long have you been working with concrete as a decorative medium?
Dania: As ANCUBA, two and a half years now.
Why was concrete used for this project as opposed to other materials?
Dania: This is the third piece I’ve made for this house (the first piece was the Paella Esquer that won best of show last year, we now have 4 pieces in the outdoor area of this house) This house is in the coast area of Baja California, Mexico, where the climate is very harsh on buildings, lots of humidity, cold mornings, breeze from the sea, etc. And concrete is one of the best options for this area.
What other materials did you use on this project?
Dania: Basically it was only concrete, with some glass and grade 316 stainless steel marbles to hold the fire pit’s pan.
What was the client’s reaction to the finished project?
Dania: She was very happy with the finished product. We gave the project a lot of thought. She wanted something very different than what you might find everywhere else and she definitely got a unique piece. Even if ANCUBA or anyone else were to try to duplicate this piece, I don’t think we’d be able to get the same swirly finish on the pit’s walls!
2012 Best Outdoor, CHENG Concrete Exchange Design Challenge
Recognized in the industry as the pinnacle of exceptional design and craftsmanship, the CHENG Concrete Exchange Design Challenge showcases talent and technical skill of the very best in creative concrete.
ANCUBA specializes in highly creative custom decorative concrete and design, enabled by their study of architecture and in-depth concrete training. Their partnership with B&A Balderrama y Asociados and B&C Construcciones allows them to provide project and construction management in addition to quality design services. With over ten years of experience, they offer services available to a broad clientele including residential, industrial plants, and commercial shopping centers.