For several years in the early 1960s, a national competition—Horizon Homes—inspired scores of progressive home designs that primarily used exposed concrete and masonry in their construction. These homes exemplified the forward-looking aesthetic of space-age design and marked the dawn of the “new frontier” of the 1960s. Members of the concrete industry, including the Portland Cement Association, sponsored the contest to introduce the work of cutting-edge architects to the public and tout the merits of using concrete products in home building to design and construction professionals. The homes’ unusual structural designs and their use of highly durable materials was intended to herald a new era in low-cost, maintenance-free, and dynamic architecture.
In the three years following the launch of the Horizon Homes Program in 1961, more than 300,000 people visited eleven model homes in southern California and several million Americans saw some 150 model concrete homes across the nation. Some of the country’s most innovative architects and engineers developed the designs, and some of the country’s best architectural photographers documented the projects. For a time, all us were living a concrete dream.
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And to capture some of the excitement of the time, watch the video: