Ar. Saja Nahashibi of Paradigm Design House uses light-transmitting concrete panels for a first-of-its-kind exceptional atmosphere and inviting design for the Capital Bank in Amman, Jordan… |
Working towards incorporating nature as the basic theme, the architect uses self-supporting LUCEM light-concrete for the cantilevered walls of the local stone façade clad in Taffouh stone in perfect resonance with the elite neighbourhood of Cairo Street in Abdoun, where the bank is situated. The rest of the façade is clad in non-translucent, LUCEM PURE concrete panels without fiber-optic fibers, resulting in a uniform finish.
Using lighting technology based on LEDs, LUCEM Lichtbeton is a German company that produces and provides light transmitting concrete panels including fixing material and LED technology. Not backlit, LUCEM looks like light concrete or natural stone. When light concrete is backlit by sunlight or artificial light, millions of embedded optical fibers transmit the back-incident light through the material. This creates a translucent look and an exciting light and shadow effect.
In this bank, besides the façade, the material is applied to a 14-metre-high stairwell, which now remains illuminated by the daylight that falls through the light concrete walls allowing the people inside to experience the change of light and shadow during the day. Vertical LED stripes are integrated over the entire height of the stairwell in the design of the handrail of a steel/wood construction. At twilight and at night, the stairwell is lit from the inside. As the light is transmitted through the fiberglass walls through the optical fibres, the stairwell appears translucent to the outside and people in the stairwell are projected as shadows through the light concrete walls. The closer people walk along a wall, the more accentuated the shadow falls. In the case of coloured lighting, the stairwell shines outwards accordingly in coloured light.
Playing on the boutique concept of the bank (approach that is privately, exclusively and individually tailored to the needs of VIP customers), the interiors integrate the ‘nature’ theme via an open-plan internal courtyard inspired by the design of Japanese Zen gardens with a sculptural-looking olive tree constituting the optical centre. The offices, lobby areas, staircases and corridors around the courtyard have a fascinating view through glass walls and glass balustrades. In lobby and reception areas, the counters are also made of LUCEM light concrete panels, while the ATM areas inside and outside are designed with a backlit translucent concrete wall.
Mounted on a steel structure, the design of the 30 mm thick concrete panels focuses on setting a striking example of how external walls can dissolve the contradiction between massiveness and lightness through translucency.check out the visuals on indiaartndesign.com
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