Robust and raw, concrete has been a rudimentary building material for centuries, but it is only relatively recently that architects have begun exploring its softer, tactile side in the design of houses. Concrete is durable, recyclable, and thermally efficient, and it goes up quickly compared to wood or metal framing. The appeal for architects, though, is its plasticity and potential for magic, making poetry out of the mundane. Witness concrete’s endless form-making possibilities in this collection of contemporary homes by A-list architects in diverse locations across Japan, Australia, Spain, Brazil, South Africa, the US, and more. Along with exquisite color photography and plans, the architects share their design approach to projects ranging from 10,000 square feet on spectacular sites, to compact urban gems. This close-up of 20 striking houses celebrates the texture and physics of a material that has long been taken for granted.