the way we live



i couldn’t resist posting one more fascinating use of concrete. litracon, or light transmitting concrete, is a phenomenal new product. as the name suggests, this concrete is actually capable of allowing light, and conversely shadow, pass through it. the holy grail of concrete has always been transparency and litracon comes pretty close. as strong and as capable as its standard concrete predecessor, litracon owes its abilities to the addition of fiber optics. the fiber optics run parallel to each other and perpendicular to the concrete block or wall; in this way light and shadow on one side of the wall are visible on the other.


no word on other ingredients so it’s tough to make a judgment on its sustainability but its ingenuity is certainly off the charts. backlighting litracon with artificial light produces a brilliant glowing quality. meanwhile, daylighting behind a person or another object produces an almost ethereal ghostly silhouette. i can’t wait until this stuff goes mainstream. head on over to their website for some more great images, samples, example projects, and a small video of litracon in action.


28 February 2007 - Posted by | architecture, materials


  1. […] bizarre and wonderfully creative.  of course, similarly, we discussed the holy grail of concrete, litracon, a while back (note that concrete and cement are very different.  cement is one of a number of […]

    Pingback by transparent cement « the way we live | 12 April 2007 | Reply

  2. I saw a wall of Litracon at a recent exhibition on concrete held at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. The exhibtion was called Béton, étonnez vous! (concrete, surprise yourself!) For someone who already knows a little bit about concrete there was little new to learn, and what’s more, the chronology of the exhibition was unclear; I had difficulty explaining the story of concrete to a less well-read companion because the exhibits were so confusingly organised.

    Overall, it was an enormous publicity stunt for Laffage and their wonder-product Ductal.

    The one thing that really stood out however was the transparent LiTraCon wall. I was fascinated about how something that was so massive and solid could transmit light, or should I say, how it transmits shadows. I am eagerly waiting to see it in use on a larger scale…

    Comment by eiffelover | 26 April 2007 | Reply

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