IN: Inspiration

LET THE LIGHT IN: THE AGE OF TRANSLUCENT CONCRETE

Explore the lighter side of concrete with the invention of translucent concrete – a new medium that allows designers to play with light within their concrete creations.

Share

Known as translucent or light-transmitting concrete, transparent concrete was originally developed by Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi in 2001. In 2003 he presented his LiTraCon invention at several exhibits, and since then the growing public interest has led to the growth of this new trend. The concrete lets light through from natural or artificial sources, effectively turning an average concrete slab from a heavy monolithic building tool into a glowing feature.

In order to create translucent concrete, fibre optics or transparent ingredients are added to a mix of fine concrete. In some instances transparent glue can replace the binding agent. The result is an ethereal material that, when set, allows for light to pass through it – creating an entirely new medium with which to work.

THE AGE OF TRANSLUCENT CONCRETE

As with all progress, the process is not without its hurdles. In this case it is the structural strength of the final product. Initially, many panels were too fragile to withstand wind and rain when tested. This means that translucent concrete may not be an ideal external building material, but an amazing means to play with light when sculpting, designing or decorating. In terms of art and design, imagine a sculptural piece that is lit from the inside...

THE AGE OF TRANSLUCENT CONCRETE

However, there has also been evidence to show that optic fibres can be used to reinforce concrete. This could lead to future homes that seemingly glow from within or speed bumps that are illuminated by car lights for better visibility at night.

The possibilities that open up when experimenting with translucent concrete are a new challenge, and it is exciting to see innovators like Losonczi leading the pack. Having been around for hundreds of years, the concrete of the future is set to dazzle as new technologies are created to enhance it…

THE AGE OF TRANSLUCENT CONCRETE

References: (http://www.litracon.hu/en/contact)

Related Articles