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Spring and concrete.

Fire pit hemi 48

A great place to work.
Photo Dylan Doubt

Attention to detail matters.
Photo Dylan Doubt

Care is taken at every step.
Photo by Dylan Doubt

1/twelfth.  a solus monthly

The renewal of spring has us reflecting upon how we
see ourselves, why we make concrete objects and
what it is that we can contribute.
Firstly, we value good design and believe that well
made and well thought-out products make our lives
better. When we make something out of concrete we
hope to transcend this ubiquitous material into
something uniquely beautiful. 

We also believe that a high degree of craft and skill
can be seen in the finished product, which will add a
sculptural solidity to any space that they inhabit.
They will also last a lifetime.

And of course we couldn’t do any of this without our
highly skilled craftspeople. We are proud that we
design & make almost everything by hand in
Vancouver, Canada. Solus could offshore production,
but we don’t. We feel an obligation to others in our
community and prefer to keep things local. And by
continually talking to each other we are able to
improve what we do everyday.
So in the end, what we contribute is really quite
simple, beauty and care.

If these things also interest you, please give us a call
at 1-877-255-3146 or visit our new website to find out
more about what makes us special.


Find Solus UK at The Chelsea Flower Show in Booth FR34.
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Firebowl at TED Vancouver 2016

Fire pit hemi 48

ema peter,micheal green architects,DBRInterior of Elevate warming huts.
By DBR & Michael Green Architects.
Photo Ema Peter

CNC’d wood ribs w shrink wrap shell.
Photo Tanya Salas

DBR team mesmerized by Firebowl.
Photo by Tanya Salas

1/twelfth.  a new solus monthly

This year we were pleased to be asked by Michael Green Architects to contribute a firebowl to the Design Build Research project at the Vancouver TED conference. DBR is a non profit school for young designers that aims to develop a full understanding of the design process by providing its students with practical project experience from conception to completion. Their projects are a welcome reminder about how important it is to work hands on with materials and processes in order to really understand them.


When we visited the TED 2016 site the students were assembling the last few pieces of the structures. It was inspiring to see the pods come to life and witness the atmosphere around the project. Everybody was a little tired but clearly satisfied and moved by the process of labouring together to turn an idea into something that could be touched and experienced. Being able to participate in this project reminded us of the importance of the beginning stages of learning and of maintaining the wide eyed curiosity that is present when things are new.
We started Solus in 1997 in a one car garage in North Vancouver with a mallet, a wheelbarrow and a few trowels. In those days we were, like the students,  learning to understand how materials behaved. Each week we attempted to turn our ideas into concrete objects. We tried things,  made mistakes and developed techniques. We were inspired by the possibilities and often operated on the edge of our knowledge and ability. Since then we have learned a lot and streamlined our processes, incorporating strict guidelines by which each piece is produced. We still make mistakes and work to learn from them but it is easy to lose perspective within the everyday problem solving that is involved in running a business. With the added responsibility of employing 20 people we have to continually reconnect to the enthusiasm of our first years in order to keep our intentions clear. We are grateful to MG Architects, DBR, their students and all of the people who keep working to maintain our connection to the source of why we make things.

solus decor

contemporary fountainCompleted Elevate warming huts with Hemi Firebowl & Douglas Coupland Digital Orca sculpture in the background.

Photo Ema Peter.
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Concrete water features new at Solus

Querini Stamppalia Foundation,Venice.
By Carlo Scarpa.
Photo Jean-Pierre Dalbera.

IBM Plaza, Honolulu.
By SurfacedesignInc.

Court of Lions, The Alhambra, Granada.
Photo by Carlos Jiménez Ruiz.
‘Dome’ in Halva & stainless steel.

‘Scupper w Basin” in Halva & Stainless

1/twelfth.  a new solus monthly
A few changes.
Solus has been creating concrete objects for the past 19 years. That’s a long time. In an effort to keep things fresh, we’ve decided to change things up a bit. This revamped newsletter/blog is just one
of many exciting things we will be trying in 2016, including a new website and some new products. So, please subscribe and share! 🙂

1/twelfth will be an exploration of things that interest us in the world of design and the built environment. Our bias is towards concrete, but we will also explore designers and makers of cool things around Vancouver, in BC & Canada, and the rest of the world too. So, on to our 1st post!

Water. Reflective, mercurial, living.
Concrete. Sculptural, solid.

Projects that incorporate water create tranquil and engaging spaces. The Alhambra in Spain, Carlo Scarpa’s geological constructions and the IBM Honolulu Plaza are all examples of how water can be used in architecture and landscape as a formal and functional element. Water beguiles us with its mercurial nature and sound. Water is fundamental and this is why we have started to design and make water features.

Our water bowls will alter the feeling and working of spaces by adding a visual focal point, reflecting light and adding sound. They can be a beautiful and functional part of a drainage, pond or pool system. And if you don’t have a larger set up such as this, we have self contained models too.

Self Contained water features allow you to incorporate the experience of water into a setting which does not have an existing water source.
Once you assemble your water feature and add the required amount of water you simply plug it in and enjoy it. This type of configuration holds and circulates all of its own water and only requires a standard electrical connection for the internal pump. Minimal maintenance is required to keep the bowl clear and the water level steady.

We offer 2 different self contained designs in 26”, 36” & 48” sizes, each has a unique nature. The ‘Scupper with basin’ creates a continuous curtain of water flowing from a wide metal spout and The ‘Dome’ highlights the rippling movement of water across a reflective surface.

In our next installment we will look at a few more examples of watercourse projects and some of our solutions for landscape integrated water features.
‘Scupper with Basin’ in Halva & stainless steel.