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Café Concrete

Tue 3 Oct 2017

Café Concrete is a pop-up event from The Concrete Centre to provide inspiration and information on the design and construction of visual concrete.

The event will feature:

- A variety of presentations from designers of high quality visual concrete exemplars.

- Best practice guidance on the specification of visual cast in situ concrete and precast concrete.

- Seminars from technical experts and specialist product manufacturers on performance, concrete and design.

- Pop-up exhibits and samples of products essential for visual concrete.

Cafe Concrete is free to attend for visitors. We encourage prior registration, so that we can keep you up-to-date with the detailed programme. Already confirmed are: Amin Taha and the unique pigmented concrete at Upper St, London; Friedrich Ludewig of Acme and the elegant facade of Victoria Gate, Leeds; Grimshaw Architects and the quadripartite arches at London Bridge Station; 6a Architects and Price & Myers present the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted Photography Studio for Juergen Teller.

See programme below for more details on presentations and speakers. 

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Programme includes:

9.30am  registration starts


10.00am Upper St  - A monolithic terracotta monument to the past

Speaker: Amin Taha, director at Amin Taha Architects Ltd

Amin Taha provides an insight into the creation of the extraordinary, sculptural and pigmented cast in situ concrete in this new additional to the Islington streetscape.


10.30am Specifying visual concrete: CPD from The Concrete Centre

Speaker: Elaine Toogood, senior architect with expertise in concrete and sustainability, The Concrete Centre

Elaine will explain the fundamental design decisions and give specification guidance for achieving visual concrete.


11.00am Visual and sustainable concrete

A presentation from Hanson Concrete

This seminar provides specification guidance for the use of Regen (ground granulated blast-furnace slag/ GGBS)  to create low carbon concrete and to influence the visual appearance of the concrete.


[Coffee break]


12.00pm Good-looking architectural and structural precast concrete

Speaker: David Moses, director at Cornish Concrete Products Ltd

David presents a range of recently completed projects to illustrate the manufacturing and finishing processes of architectural and structural precast concrete. 


12.30pm Victoria Gate – The craft of concrete facades

Speaker: Friedrich Ludewig, director, ACME

Friedrich describes the design evolution and making of the dramatic precast concrete facades for Victoria Gate in Leeds. The project pushed the boundaries of manufacture, developed through early collaboration with the specialist precasting companies and delivered using 3D modelling.

1.00pm Creating photographic and permanent patterns in concrete

Speaker: Tim Brookfield, national specification manager at Chryso UK Ltd.

Tim explains the existing technologies used to create patterns and images in the surface of prefabricated concrete. He will also provide case studies of its use in UK and abroad.




2.00pm Getting the formwork right for visual concrete  

Speaker: Neil Butlin, PERI

The selection of a formwork facing material has a significant impact on finish, consequently an understanding of formwork is essential when specifying exposed cast in situ concrete. This presentation explores the properties of a range of different formwork facing materials and the finishes they produce


2.30pm Specifying cast in situ concrete frames to BS8500

Speaker: Jenny Burridge, head of structural engineering at The Concrete Centre

Jenny will provide guidance on the latest concrete standards for design of visual cocnrete structures. 


3.00pm Surface sealants  and mineral coatings for concrete

Speaker: Anton Boekhoudt, architectural business development executive at Keim Mineral Paints Ltd

The presentation will look at the technical aspects of mineral coatings and sealants and their applications for use on concrete as well as case studies and project examples.


3.30pm Quadripartite arches at London Bridge Station

Speaker: Rick Roxburgh, associate at Grimshaw Architects

The recent remodelling of London Bridge station includes the creation a dramatic, new arcade of board marked concrete quadripartite arches. Rick, project architect at Grimshaw Architects, describes the processes and challenge of their creation.


4.00pm Integrated post finishing: improving the look of concrete

Speaker: Jonathan Reid, visual voncrete repair management and training at GreyMatter Concrete

This seminar session considers the requirements necessary to achieve a high quality finish, including techniques for improving the look of new concrete once cast on site.


4.30pm The applications, benefits and limitations of inorganic pigments when used to through-colour architectural concrete

Speakers: Matthew Brookes, Lanxess

The use of inorganic pigments in architectural concrete to add colour is an essential design feature that integrates harmoniously into the surroundings, adding aesthetic appeal and value. Whilst there are certain guiding principles to consider, for nearly a century the use of Bayferrox® pigments have been used successful across the world. 


[Celebratory drinks]


6.00pm Innovative concrete solutions

Speaker: David Porter, business development manager at Aggregate Industries UK

This presentation explores current trends in concrete innovation with a focus new forms of concrete and their uses. These include porous concrete to help reduce flooding, self-compacting concrete and ultra-high performance concrete.


6.30pm Jeurgen Teller Studio 

Speaker: Carlos Sanchez, associate at 6a Architects & Will York, Price & Myers

6a Architects and Price & Myers engineers reveal the design and construction processes employed to create the various concrete elements of this Stirling Prize short listed project. Includes fair-faced blocks, smooth and board marked self-compacting cast in situ concrete.

Café Concrete is free to attend. So whatever the time of day, drop in and meet the exhibitors, take a seat for a seminar, or meet up with colleagues to discuss a project and access the latest guidance.

Exhibition and event series curated by The Concrete Centre and supported by The Built Environment Trust.  



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