Old craft reinterpreted
Beginning as a start-up of the RWTH Aachen University, we now produce translucent concrete for international design and architectural projects. In the spirit of a manufacturing company, we still produce by hand in small quantities or on request – all unique pieces, tailored to our customers’ projects.
Driven by the need to offer the increasingly virtual and practical world a functional and atmospheric-aesthetic counterpart in which the appreciation of the work is visible in the result, too, here is where it all started with Andreas Roye:
How did it come?
While working with concrete every day, researching and developing it, you still sometimes need a spontaneous inspiration; in retrospect I wonder why it took so long. After all, placing glass fiber bundles in concrete, letting it dry and testing how stable the fibers are were processes that I had carried out many times before during my time as a research assistant at the RWTH Aachen University. Then, one day another test took place to assess the anchoring of the glass fiber bundles in the concrete. In this “pull-out test”, fiber bundles are pulled out of the finished concrete and then a lamp is used to determine which fibers break first. And there it was, my intuition: Why not integrate the fibers into the concrete in such a way that they can shine intentionally? – The idea for light transmitting concrete was born.
To this point I already was fascinated by concrete and its possibilities, otherwise I would not have done research for my doctoral thesis in the field of “textile-reinforced concrete”, as well as I had knowledge of the materials concrete and glass fibers. But it probably needed this one specific experiment until I realized that light transmitting concrete is what I want to do. From then on, there was really only one way to go: to found Lucem and start production. Nobody could foresee that the first project we realized would directly become an international one.
Nevertheless, Lucem is a local business…
Despite the worldwide demand for our translucent concrete, we have regional roots – and want to stick to them. This is a crucial factor for us. Here is where it all began, here is our home, there has always been a connection with the city and its history.
And it couldn’t be more fitting: because by means of the three main components of our light transmitting concrete, old Aachen traditions merge, too: textile industry, lamp production and quarry. If not here, where else should we manufacture our light transmitting concrete? In this spirit we connect and continue the individual trades in a progressive manner. We bring the materials in their interaction to a higher level, show what they are capable of in their combination as light concrete and what breathtaking implementations are possible. We give life to each of its rigid, static components and create therefore beauty and elegance – worldwide.