In 2001, Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi invented LiTraCon, the first light-transmitting concrete. Since then, it's been utilized for pavement, walls, design elements, and in art installations around the world. While just as strong as traditional concrete, an embedded array of optical glass fibers allows residents to see exterior elements such as the silhouette of trees, houses, and passersby. LiTraCon can be produced as prefabricated building blocks and panels and used for a variety of building needs.
The embedded-glass fibres lead light by points between the two sides of the blocks. Because of their parallel position, the light information on the brighter side of the wall (usually the exterior wall) appears unchanged. However, the darker side of the wall highlights a sharp display of shadows on the other side of the wall.
While I love the playful, artistic element of this new building material, I also love its practical uses as well. When a solid wall is imbued with the ability to transmit light, it means that a home can use fewer lights in their house during daylight hours. Since the insulating capacity of the wall is unchanged, the result is a net energy gain.
Recent projects that have utilized LitraCon include the main entrance door at Museum Cella Septichora in Pécs, Hungary, and the Ein Haus fuers Leben (House For Life) in Sittensen, Germany.