litracon: light transmitting concrete

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LiTraCon is a combination of optical fibers and concrete.  The optical fibers are aligned parallel with each other and perpendicular to the surface, passing the exact light pattern that falls on the outer surface through to the inner surface.

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LiTraCon was developed and patented by a Hungarian architect in 2001.  What is so impressive about the material is that it maintains the qualities of concrete, namely compressive strength and thermal mass, while adding a dazzling organic pattern of light transmittance to the surface.

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The fibers are extremely small, so they are nearly indistinguishable on the concrete surface unless light is passing through.

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Even used as simple masonry blocks, the bipolar natural of the material — a heavy, massive object, yet with an ephemeral effect — makes for creative design opportunities.

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The material offers great opportunities for sustainable design, combining a surface with a high thermal mass with a nicely controlled light transmission.  It would be a perfect material to use on a south-facing exterior wall surface.

Images from LiTraCon

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About Brad Koerner

Venture Manager - Luminous Patterns Philips Lighting

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