CW Interiors |
 
Material Central | September 2014

Creative Concrete

An indispensible and durable material, concrete gets a fresh twist as a building ingredient to create stunning facades.
Concrete is one of the most durable and popular materials used for building. It is economically viable and simple masonry skills are required to build with concrete. Here´s how creativity helped created impactful facades with concrete.

Photoengraved concrete
The Edison Residence at Montreal, Canada, is located on a site that endured a fire in the early 20th century. The historical context of the site became the primary inspiration for the urban renewal project designed by Kanva. This led to the exploration of an innovative concrete fabrication technique - photoengraved concrete panels  that enable the building to tell a story.

The film sequence photoengraved into the concrete facades is extracted from the sequence of stills from the film Montreal Fire Department on Runners (Edison, 1901). The film was chosen for both its historical and contextual relevance - referencing the fire that vacated the site and highlighting the prolific inventor Thomas Edison, an important contributor to the development of tableaux mouvants or motion pictures.

The process of photoengraving translates
an image into a positive/negative representation, which is then converted into a series of vertical striations that form the image. Playing on light and shadow, each film still, and by extension the sequence in the photoengraving technique, is perceived in a dynamic manner as oblique sunrays accentuate or clouds soften the visual perception of the vertical ribs that form the image.
For more information visit: www.kanva.ca

Light-transmitting concrete
Berlin-based Wolf Architekten have created one of the most unconventional and daring architectural ventures - the Udo Krollman Corporate Centre. The development boasts of the first light transmitting concrete facades in Berlin. This has been made possible through Lucem´s Line Anthrazit light-transmitting concrete that combines mineral aggregate and translucent optical fibres to transmit light. Lucem is typically supplied in panel format and installed with a source of light at the rear of the panel. The light travels to the surface of the panel, allowing for a colourful spectacle and a magical effect of the light glowing from the inside of the concrete.

Current technology allows for RGB-LEDs to be activated and controlled through computer or smartphone while the achievable lighting possibilities range from static hues to on-demand colour change and controllable light intensity. Additional parametres such music can also be integrated and synchronised. LUCEM light transmitting concrete itself constitutes a beautiful surface, even when unlit, and its structural performance is similar to that of natural stone. LUCEM light-transmitting concrete can be produced in panels of up to 150 cm x 50 cm x 2 cm.

For more information, visit www.lucem.de.

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