The use of plaster in construction is an ancient building technique. Research shows that a number of Egyptian pyramids were built with plaster mortar and in early Greek architecture, plaster was used as fine stucco decoration on buildings such as temples. Today, the use of plaster is widespread, its ubiquity in part due to its modest and often inexpensive qualities. Plaster is also a strong and versatile building material, with protective properties that are resistant to the elements, humidity, infestation, and mold.
Plaster is a composition of various components, including lime, gypsum, sand, clay, and water. Gypsum plaster, for example, is economical and ideal for creating a smooth finish, whereas clay plaster is a more costly material, but has worthy eco-credentials and a modish appearance. A plastered facade (also referred to as rendered) provides an aesthetic addition to a home’s exterior. Plaster encourages the interplay between light and shadow. It helps to define shape and form, is easily painted, and will enhance depth and character.
The exteriors of these 10 striking homes showcase the decorative potential of plaster.
1. Haus K
In Haus K by Project Architecture Company, the textured exterior plaster celebrates the contrast between roughness and refinement.
Casa Schneider by Ibarra Rosano Design Architects recalls the traditional architecture of historic Tucson barrios. The home’s white plastered walls invite dancing shadows, their intensity changing as the sun moves through the day.
3. Gesep House
The lime stucco facade of this house in La Garriga, Spain, enhances its Mediterranean character. Mixing contemporary architecture with a traditional edge, Gesep House by Jaime Prous Architects sits comfortably within its natural surroundings.
In N.Z House No.1 by Daniel Arev Architecture, an insulating plaster was applied to the first floor facade, then covered by a rough, textured white mineral plaster. The result is both aesthetic and practical, with the plaster helping to reduce the sun’s radiation.
In Abu Samra house by Symbiosis Designs Ltd., the earth-toned plastered building fits perfectly within the Jordanian environment, and acts to temper the hot desert sun.
The traditional grey plaster of the exterior of this house by Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects, works in harmony with the home’s simple contemporary cube structure.
7. Stone House
In Stone House by NOMO studio, the facade references the Minorcan custom of framing windows and edges with white plaster. Here, a geometric patchwork of sandy-colored plaster and stone create a distinctive exterior.
Plaster Fun House by Sans-Arc Studio is an art-deco-inspired home that combines a playful use of plaster and arches.
9. Casa 2F
The massive white plastered walls of Casa 2F by dds architetti ensure a sense of privacy for the home’s occupants, while also paying tribute to traditional Mediterranean architecture.
The rich and calming linear stucco on Hannam 777-2 by 05STUDIO is an outstanding feature of this smart, contemporary abode.