3XN, UNStudio and Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have worked together to develop a white, fibre-reinforced concrete to the Light House project on the Århus Harbour front. The collaborative efforts were led by Kasper Guldager Jørgensen (3XN), Lars Kjemtrup (3XN), Christian Veddeler (UNS), Lotte Bjerregaard (DTU) and concrete expert Gregor Fischer (DTU).
The specific requirements
The objective was to design a new material for the façade of the Light House project. A façade where the characteristic balconies are seamlessly integrated creating a series of specific requirements for the desirable properties of the construction materials. At one and the same time, the material must be strong, thin, light and flexible in its shape and, as outlined in the competition programme, it must appear white.
The solution was a custom-made white, plastic fibre-reinforced concrete, PVA-FRC (Poly Vinyl Alcohol Fiber-Reinforced Concrete), which by virtue of its high content of pulverized marble is aesthetically well suited and strong. By working with polymeric fibres instead of traditional reinforcement a material is created additionally well-matched for the aggressive, saline environment in the harbour area.
The final product was subsequently submitted to a series of tests to measure the strength and durability of the concrete. All tests and sampling were carried out by Navid Sidiqi (DTU) and Anders Hornskov Jakobsen (DTU).
The next step
At this stage, further development of the project points towards taking out a product patent with further product development prospects and commercialisation in mind.
In addition to the development process, the team has carried out life cycle analysis of the concrete and worked with general optimisation of the indoor environment.