Because They're Simple
For their Australian vacation house, architect Rachel Nolan and her buisness partner, Patrick Kennedy, strove to make a practical structure. They opted for prototypical materials, like cinder blocks for a privacy screen, to hit that note. “It has an association with old beach houses and public buildings at the shore,” Nolan says. After trying different self-supporting configurations, they chose a zigzag pattern. The wall shields the courtyard from wind and doubles as a step for gutter maintenance. During parties, the family likes to place candles into the recesses.
Because They Have Built-In Storage
A DIY cinder block nightstand, a timeless storage solution for college students, fits right in at this sophisticated New York City apartment.
Because They Can Stand Up to Heat
A large cinder block fireplace rests half-in, half-out of the dining room in a renovated midcentury house in Los Angeles.
Because They're Easy to Hide
Cinder blocks are an economical material choice, though not necessarily always an attractive one. This Baton Rouge home conceals its cinder block exterior beneath a coat of ivy.
Because They're Charming in Their Own Way
At this renovated Mexico City boutique hotel, a cinder block lattice exemplifies architect Javier Sanchez's "urban-archeological work."