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Polish concert hall is made with Picado concrete

The Jordanki Cultural and Convention Center in Poland, designed by Spanish architect Fernando Menis, is made from a new type of concrete called Picado, a mix of concrete and crushed bricks.

Picado, from the Spanish word for chipped, consists of mixing concrete with other materials and breaking it up after assembly, to achieve certain acoustic effects. The technique was conceived by Menis, first used for the Magma Art & Congress (Tenerife, Canary Islands, 2005), by mixing concrete with local volcanic stones.

The Picado is used both in the façade and the interior, contrasting with the white cement also used. It acts as a tool within the acoustic system designed for the building. For the Jodanki, the chipped effect was achieved in part by mixing concrete with recycled red brick, in line with the Gothic red brick façades of Torun, the UNESCO heritage city where the concert hall is located. The red bricks were also used for their sound reflection effect. In other places, the concrete was mixed with volcanic reddish stone from China, for its sound absorption effect.

Both the concrete and the bricks were supplied by local companies; the former by CEMEX Poland and the latter by Ceramsus.

The material was used to demonstrate it is possible to create a new type of auditorium without the use of wood.

Photos: Fernando Menis

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