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One of the most talked about books of the decade gets its movie release this week but did you know the Fifty Shades trilogy has a secret hidden meaning?

We think author E.L. James was trying to tell us something when she wrote her best-selling books and she made them especially steamy so her message reached a global audience.

In reality, these books are a heartfelt plea in the name of something without a voice. Something greatly misunderstood. That’s right. She was talking all along, about concrete.


Whether you are reading this in an office, at home or even in a sex dungeon, there’s a fairly good chance this humble, unsung substance is holding you up, so to speak.

But when you picture it (not the dungeon, the concrete) what do you see? Probably a mass of anonymous, uninspiring grey matter. That’s pretty much what everyone imagines but thankfully, our heroine saw through this.

M&SM&S When E.L. James wrote her first book she was trying to tell us to break out of our bondage chains and see there was more to concrete than dark grey motorway bridges. Take for example the jet-black concrete we produced for these stunning benches commissioned by M&S (or was it S&M, we forget!). Anything but grey, Christian.


Just like a best-selling book trilogy, top quality concrete requires a mix of finely balanced ingredients from iron ore and sand through to industrial waste slag (no pun intended). But it doesn’t end there.

When you add a little magic to the mix, you can produce some amazing results. In book two our author was trying to take us to the other end of the spectrum.

The_DreamShe must have been inspired by The Dream sculpture in St. Helens. Here we used white cement and Spanish Dolomite aggregate to create a stunning sparkling finish. We also used this spectacular finish on the Nova Building in Victoria, London. So bright, you might need to pop your blindfold back on Anastasia


Having educated us in the virtues of the beautiful black and glistening white concrete in 50 Shades of Grey and 50 Shades Lighter, E.L. James saved the best ’til last in the final book, 50 Shades Freed.

BarkingsideHere, using the clever metaphor of sexual liberation, she finally frees the reader to open their eyes to the wonder of multi-coloured concrete. The blindfold is lifted and the chains are off as we marvel at projects like our incredible seating array at Southwark, London or the Better Barkingside Leisure Centre, resplendent in green.

By this stage, you’ve probably made eye contact with our beautiful eye sculpture at Littlehaven and you’ll be appreciating the luscious curves of our recent project at 10 Finsbury Square, showing how flexible and diverse concrete can be.

Although we cherish all our concrete projects, we, like E.L. James, want the world to know there’s more to concrete than meets the eye. In a world where the built environment looks ever more ‘samey’ and concrete perhaps gets a bad name, there is another vibrant, colourful and creative way to utilise this versatile building material.

We’d love to hear from you about any unusual concrete projects you like or have planned. Perhaps we can bring some colour and texture to them and, maybe one day, we can turn the film’s strapline on its head.

Think all concrete projects look the same?

Mr. Grey Won’t See You Now…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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