Flying Concrete

Flying Concrete
August 28, 2013

Steve Kornher of Flying Concrete is one of the world’s best thin shell builders. He works with lightweight concrete and a wide range of sculptural mixes.

When a client has an idea for a home, Steve listens to their needs and then will start sculpting small models to help clarify the goals. The models act like a visual three dimensional model to guide the workers towards the end goal. The final product is live-in art that is comfortable and unique. It is efficient and very long lasting. Normally Steve gives his structures a 300 year guaranty!

Steve and his crew can help your project in several ways. If you would like him to design and collaborate, he can help by phone and email. He also teaches thin shell construction classes near his home in San Miguel de Allende. When were were finishing our castle, Steve was on-site to manage and guide the finish labor.


Steve and his wife, Emilia, live on a two-acre plot about 25 minutes from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (6200 ft. elevation). Steve calls their home a “work in progress” since it is common in his area to “pay as you go” and leave the rebar showing for future additions. Their home is currently about 1000 square feet and has a good amount of terraces for outdoor living.  The first floor is mostly adobe construction. His roofing system and newer additions are a lightweight aggregate. The south facing windows and overhanging eves provide passive solar heat in the wintertime. The roofing system is Steve’s vault design with shell motifs.

Stucco Sprayer for Walls

The Tirolessa USA Stucco Sprayer can be used for applying plaster, shotcrete, papercrete, earthen mixes, plastering a stucco house, traditional one coat or three coat stucco, GFRC, stamped concrete, stucco fences, organic sculptures, and more!

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5 Responses to “Flying Concrete”

  1. Hi Steve,

    I have just finished talking to and been introduced to you and your interesting work via a contributor to the ferrocrete forum.

    Simple, he has requested that I contact you about what we provide for the substantial improvement for and of the cement (hydration process) in concrete. Our ICD technology was developed for deep well (oil) cementing. Intercellular Cement (pozzolanic) Densification.

    As cement is key to concrete and the structures you are involved with, may I forward this thought for your consideration. Concrete as a material has a very long history. Some concrete has lasted well for millenia but not so “modern” concrete. Why the disparity? It is not just proceedure or lack of trying.

    The science of cement utilization has brought much new information to the fore. Why is cement so poorly utilised in todays concrete, how can this key binder in concrete be vastly improved (naturally) by the allowing a more efficient interface between the water and the cement.

    Admixture suppliers focus on the chemical deficiencies the occur “after” the hydration phase has started. Would it not be more effective to understand how to encourage a better more condusive initial interface between the water and cement, rather than trying to counteract the difficiencies which occur. Bleed, shrinkage, poor curing are factors that reduce concrete performance and provide proof of inefficient CSH development.

    Helping the cement to proceed (uneffected by hydrate shelling) is the key. This allows for the cement hydration phase to proceed efficiently producing more CSH while utilising better the Ca(HO)2 in the process. This will provide for a more complete hydration process and denser, tightly intermeshed CSH formations, better mixwater management (real self curing) and what we all want from concrete, a more durable longlasting material.

    Good concrete practice is still very important but the best codes, practices and aids to counteract poor hydration are not producing longevity for concrete.

    May we continue this valuable dialogue.

    Very best regards,

    John Macdonald
    Enhance ICD (Canada) Inc
    Making (good) concrete better.
    1 403 461 7888 cell

  2. Mary Konczyk says:

    Wow… I’ve been infatuated with Gaudi and wishing it were possible to have a home built in a style reminiscent of his.

    Maybe it is possible after all! (Hmmm,,, when is that lottery drawing?)

    Lovely work!

  3. Hi Steve.. Love your home .how feasible is it to construct a single level structure in california where building codes are prohibitive? Approximately what costs are involved to build a 1500 foot single level residence and what amount of time is necessary ? look forward to your reply . Cordially , Larry mcgrail

    • Sean Maxwell says:

      In California, the best way to start would be with an engineer that can help navigate the codes while achieving your goals. We have followed the progress with several people over the years that have used Chris Zweifel. Chris is one of the best thin shell engineers we have met:
      The construction cost cannot be determined at this stage until the project is more defined.

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