Large Scale Glazed Concrete Panels: Architectural Approach

Anja Margrethe Bache

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Today, there is a lot of focus on concrete surface’s aesthitic potential, both globally and locally. World famous architects such as Herzog De Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meyer and David Chippenfield challenge the exposure of concrete in their architecture. At home, this trend can be seen in the crinkly façade of DR-Byen (the domicile of the Danish Broadcasting Company) by architect Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid’s Ordrupgård’s black curved smooth concrete surfaces. Furthermore, one can point to initiatives such as “Synlig beton” (visible concrete) that can be seen on the website and spæncom’s aesthetic relief effects by the designer Line Kramhøft ( It is my hope that the research-development project “Lasting large scale glazed concrete formwork,” I am working on at DTU, department of Architectural Engineering will be able to complement these. It is a project where I try to develop new aesthetic potentials for the concrete, in large scales that has not been seen before in the ceramic area. It is expected to result in new types of large scale and very thin, glazed concrete façades in building. If such are introduced in an architectural context as exposed surfaces and façade panels they will have a distinctive impact on the visual expression of the building and public open space in general. The question is what kind of impact. That is what I in this article attempt to answer through observation and isolation of qualities and possible problem areas for selected existing buildings in and around Copenhagen that are covered with mosaic tiles or glazed tiles; buildings such as Nanna Ditzel’s House in Klareboderne, Arne Jacobsen’s gas station, Erik Møller’s Industriens Hus, Bent Helweg Møller’s Berlingske Hus, Arne Jacobsen’s Stellings Hus and Toms Chocolate Factories and finally Lene Tranberg and Bøje Lungård’s Elsinore water purification plant. These buildings have qualities that I would like applied, perhaps transformed or most preferably, if possible, interpreted anew, for the large glazed concrete panels I shall develop. The article is ended and concluded with a discussion on how that could be done. Anja Margrethe Bache, research associate professor, Architectural Engineering DTU BYG, Ph. D. architecture, sculptor from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and MSc in Engineering from DTU. Keywords: Ceramic, glazing, concrete, Facadedesign and architecture, perception
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKongens Lyngby
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2010



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