As oxymorons go, “translucent concrete” might just take the cake. Of course concrete isn’t translucent—it’s strong, it’s heavy and it’s opaque. But hold on. It’s not as out there as it sounds. Meet Lunacrete, exclusively distributed on the West Coast through SOLI Architectural Surfaces, it’s a high-density precast concrete. What makes it special—and translucent—are the optical fibers embedded into the material, which allow light, shadows and colors to be seen through the concrete, even through thick wall surfaces.
Lunacrete is produced by a small firm (just 10 employees) in western Austria, founded in 2005. There, the product is handmade, with its optical fibers embedded layer by layer. The end result allows light through, producing an effect like ripples on water. A painstaking curing process gives Lunacrete remarkable durability (it’s compressive strength comes close to that of regular concrete) and also means that it can be employed in large blocks. Lunacrete comes in lava gray or white as standard shades, but custom colors can be accommodated.
Employed in some small-scale projects since it’s US introduction on the East Coast a few years back, Lunacrete is poised to make a big impact now that’s available on the Left Coast as well. Lunacrete can be used a huge range of applications—almost anywhere you’d use typical concrete products, including walls, floors, furniture and countertops and can even be incorporated into exterior projects. It’s a product that should quite rightly be explored.