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Color, Technology Lights Stone Facade

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

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A building in Germany now features an innovative concrete panel facade that its owner can light up in color or use to display text and graphics.

The owner of a RWTH Aachen University building in Aachen, Germany, can control 136 light-transmitting concrete panels that clad the building via a mobile device, according to the concrete panel maker Lucem.

by day and night
Photos: Lucem

By day, the building appears to be a natural stone, but just before sunset, the wall begins to glow.

Designed by the architecture firm Carpus+Partners of Aachen, the exterior wall is billed as the world’s first media façade featuring light-transmitting concrete panels manufactured by Lucem.

How it Works

Each panel contains color-changing LED technology; three percent optical fibers; and red, green and blue chips that can control 16 million colors, according to Lucem. The panels can be controlled independently, allowing the 1,097-square-foot façade to become a screen display, the company says.

media wall

The installation is billed as the world’s first media façade featuring light-transmitting concrete panels manufactured by German concrete maker Lucem.

Lucem indicates that during the day, the building appears like natural stone; but just before sunset, when ambient light drops lower than 300 lux (unit of illuminance and luminous emittance), the building wall begins to glow.

The company says the panels, which come in three varieties, can be used in many different architectural applications, including cladding, interior walls, flooring systems, room dividers and bars. The panels come in polished, sheen or matte surfaces, according to the company.

Installation is not specialized; the mounting is similar to regular stone, according to Lucem.

The cost of the concrete panels was not immediately available, although one report indicated that the cost per square meter is roughly equivalent to that of stone.

Media facades have increased in popularity in recent years. Webdesigner Depot has a list of more than 30 interactive media facades from around the world. Check them out here.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Color; Concrete; Design; Lighting

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