Faux bois, or ‘false wood,’ is an art form that replicates the look and feel of natural wood but is actually made of something else. While resin, iron, terracotta and other materials can be used, concrete with an inner structure built of iron rods and mesh is what started the 19th century French faux bois trend.
Joseph Monier patented the technique of reinforcing concrete vessels with an iron inner structure in 1867 during the showcase of iron-reinforced “troughs for horticulture” at the Paris Exposition. The technique became known as ferrocement. In 1875, Monier designed the first iron-reinforced concrete bridge ever built at the Château de Chazelet, in Chazelet, France.