2. Spartan Speculations Translucent concrete – a forgotten art?

Spartan Speculations

Translucent concrete – a forgotten art?

LiTraCon Classic transparent concrete blocks

At first glance, this may look like something straight out of the TV show “Black Mirror” however, it’s a very uncommon pre-fabricated concrete block/panel implemented by Aron Losonczi, a Hungarian Architect, starting back in 2001.

Although the concept can be traced back as far as 1935, conceptualized, tested, and patented by Long Bernard, and Saint Gobain, It was re-designed using Fiber Optic materials instead of glass later on.

(original patent and description can be found here:

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/search/family/035341810/publication/CA353849A?q=pn%3DCA353849

Figures blocking the supply of light appear as silhouettes from beyond the ambient glow.

The idea is fairly simple, but incredibly hard to execute.

Generally, the light transmitting fibers would be placed parallel to both faces of the blocks when the concrete is poured, and left exposed.

Once the surface is ground flat and placed in front of a light source, the light transfers almost flawlessly to the other side, making the solid rock-based material appear as if it were a thin sheet of wood, with a grain-like appearance. Alternatively, they have recently developed a more geometrical “Pixel” design that can be arranged in any shape or form.

Concrete benches in Budapest, Hungary By LiTraCon

Despite the product being praised heavily from 2001 – 2008 for its unique design and appearance, as well as the eco friendly use of natural light, it has not been heavily implemented since. The company LiTraCon is Is still doing incredible things with the luminous rock in Hungary, but outside of a few art exhibits, public displays, and a few small craft fanatics toying around with the concept, it seems to be a forgotten medium.

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