[Homestead] Concrete you can see through

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Sun Dec 12 22:44:00 EST 2004

Concrete You Can See Through

Published: December 12, 2004

Concrete has figured heavily in numerous architectural monstrosities, not 
least because the cheap, durable substance oozes despair and seems to suck 
up light. But this year, at the National Building Museum in Washington, the 
architect Aron Losonczi helped rehabilitate concrete's cheerless reputation 
by demonstrating a new version of the substance more akin to glass than 

Losonczi, a 28-year-old from Csongrad, Hungary, is the inventor of LiTraCon 
(shorthand for ''light-transmitting concrete''), which is made by adding 
glass or plastic fibers to the usual blend of gravel, sand, cement and 
water. A LiTraCon wall, though sturdy, is as translucent as an oilskin 
lampshade. Shadows seep through from one side to the other, even if the 
slab is of prison-grade thickness.

Losonczi has created a company to market his brainchild, but buildings made 
of LiTraCon are most likely way off. Translucent concrete is tough enough 
for the task, but the glass or plastic fibers make it too expensive for 
most large-scale construction. The most sensible commercial use might be 
see-through barriers of the sort that shield the halls of government from 
car bombs. Since 9/11, the United States may have a bunker mentality, but 
that doesn't mean our bunkers need be drab.


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