Color Forum & News

2011-09-07

Spectacular museums – Lotnictwa Polskiego in Poland and Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Portugal

Bayferrox for coloring architectural concrete:

Leverkusen -

Things are really starting to take off for Colored Concrete Works from LANXESS. The company aims to use this worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the technical, esthetic and design potential of inorganic pigments from the Bayferrox range, specifically when it comes to coloring architectural concrete. The initiative is based around a now considerable collection of case studies documenting the use of colored concrete in outstanding international projects undertaken mostly by world famous architects. Two recent examples are the Museum Lotnictwa Polskiego in Krakow, Poland, and the Museum Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais, Portugal. “Our tailor-made inorganic color pigments helped to ensure the museums' architects were able to bring the uniqueness of their designs to life while also creating concrete structures of real substance and quality,” says Jörg Hellwig, head of the Inorganic Pigments business unit at LANXESS.

The coloring of both these buildings was achieved with pigments made by LANXESS in Krefeld-Uerdingen using the Laux process. Having been in use for 85 years, the process ensures the world-renowned quality of Bayferrox pigments, including color intensity, color consistency and weather resistance.

Red, integrally colored concrete lends a balanced contrast
The Museum Casa das Histórias Paula Rego brings together architecture and nature to create an esthetic of contrasts. The building was designed by Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, one of the most prominent representatives of the Escola do Porto and this year's winner of the highly respected international Pritzker Architecture Prize. Colored red using Bayferrox, the building complex features a lofty central exhibition hall surrounded by a series of interlinked rooms. Its most striking features are the two pyramid-style towers that match the height of the nearby trees and thus create a sense of natural harmony with their surroundings. The red of the concrete provides a pleasing contrast with the green of the vegetation and enables the architect to achieve a contemporary interpretation of the region's traditional building style. The overall concept also impressed the editorial team of “art” magazine, who recently named the museum one of the most spectacular exhibition spaces in the world in one of its articles. During the construction of the museum – which displays the work of internationally renowned artist Paula Rego – a total of 3,180 cubic meters of concrete were colored using 15 metric tons of Bayferrox 110 (red) and three metric tons of Bayferrox 420 (yellow).

The esthetics of subdued colors
Located on the disused Rakowice-Czyzyny airfield, the Museum Lotnictwa Polskiego is home to aircraft, engines and other exhibits from the world of aviation. Designed by architects Pysall.Ruge and Bartlomiej Kisielewski, the building's design echoes not only the sheer fascination of aviation and aviation technology, but also the structure of the historic airfield. A square base provides the foundations for the cast concrete building. The building's three wings form a structure reminiscent of a paper aeroplane and create a correspondingly light, airy visual effect. The architects opted for Bayferrox 330/1 (black) to lend an anthracite tone to the concrete. This creates a dark, subtly neutral background which throws the exhibits into sharp relief, no matter whether they are red, blue or silver. A total of 39 metric tons of the iron oxide pigment were used to color 3,500 cubic meters of concrete.

An initiative for more color in architecture
The Colored Concrete Works campaign is designed to enable builders and architects to share their experiences of construction projects using colored concrete. It now covers 10 languages, including Chinese and Turkish. Further information is available at www.colored-concrete-works.com and www.bayferrox.com.

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LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 15,800 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.