Concrete most often brings to mind raw, cold and grey surfaces. However, founder Gábor Bakos and his partner Lilla Borsos put this material in a new light. Whether we talk about outdoor furniture, home accessories or tables, the concrete objects they craft with engineering care take shape under their hands in bold colors, different patterns and a refined design. Meet CONCRAZY!
Gábor Bakos studied to be a civil engineer, but being an eternal innovator, he always wanted to start his own business. After many designs accumulated in his drawer, he finally decided to make premium concrete tables. But he realized that he didn’t know enough about concrete, so he experimented with the recipe for his first concrete table at the Concrete Technology Laboratory of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, under the supervision of Dr. Nehme Salem Georges, a university lecturer. A few months later, Gábor got a commission to build the entire fine concrete furniture for the Gyarmati Dezső Sports Hall, a turning point in achieving his goals.
“In May 2019, I quit my job, founded CONCRAZY Ltd. and sweating blood, but I managed to do the project, I mean we did it because that’s when I met Lilla, who is now my wife and mother of our daughter Zina, and who helped me a lot with the work that was stretching long into the night,” he said. Since then, Lilla and Gábor, as an architect and civil engineer duo, have been working day in, day out in their Törökbálint factory on the design, development and production of CONCRAZY concrete furniture and elements. The team is also supported by Szilárd Somodi, who helps with the precise work in the workshop.
They focused on various commissions during the first two years of CONCRAZY’s history. For example, the entire fine concrete furniture and façade elements of the Pasarét Community House were manufactured by CONCRAZY. They were also involved in projects like constructing the outdoor benches for the Gödöllő Swimming Pool or the ribbed concrete façade elements for the Akadémia Garden condominium. Then, in the summer of 2021, smaller, more sophisticated furniture took over. CONCRAZY’s repertoire includes products specifically designed for small-scale manufacturing, such as outdoor flowerpots and modular concrete benches, as well as other home accessories such as wall clocks and dining and coffee tables.
“We’ve got lots of furniture designs in our heads and millions of manufacturing techniques that we’re likely to use to make some awe-inspiring pieces. We hope that our self-designed and manufactured concrete furniture will occupy most of our time, but we are also very fond of sophisticated, non-dozen interior design projects,” Gábor added. CONCRAZY is currently working on the concrete furniture for Porsche’s new training center in Budaörs, the Culinaris gastro shop in the Hegyvidék Shopping Center and the new Tejmadár bistro in Westend City Center.
In addition to these projects, they have several exciting ongoing collaborations. “With carpenter Bence Sárkány we started to design custom hardwood legs for our concrete tables. For example, our No.0015 serial number CONCRAZY table already stands on oak tree legs, which got the Grasshopper fantasy name and we designed to perfectly match the 3,14 oak chairs, also praising the work of Bence. Besides all this, less than two months ago, we started working with Gáspár Bonta on enlarged concrete versions of his grandmother’s ceramic vases. They will have amazing shapes; we are very much looking forward to them,” Gábor explained.
In addition to the various concrete tables, Lilla and Gábor invest a lot of energy in developing their collection of plant containers and the production of unique cladding panels with convex and textured surfaces. In their remaining time, they also plan to invest in a new site to accommodate a much more efficient and wide-ranging production technology. Although they say that despite their current successes, they have not yet set out to position themselves as a design brand, as Gábor points out, “the fact that HFDA has selected CONCRAZY for 360 Design Budapest and the Paris exhibition of Maison & Objet, proves that the brand’s work has interpretable design value”.