Hospitals are places you would prefer not to have to visit – you certainly don’t visit them to have a good time. This image is all too often reinforced by the drab facades of hospitals. We at Graphic Concrete want to bring a sense of positivism to the visual appearances of hospitals.
The Graphic Concrete technique offers an excellent opportunity to create unique and memorable hospital buildings. Our technique has been used already in numerous hospital facades in Finland and abroad, and new projects are being implemented all the time.
Designed collaboratively by VPL Architects, Tommila Architects and Martikainen Architects and featuring graphic concrete cast by Lujabetoni, Espoo Hospital in Finland is a fine example of how graphic concrete can be used on large concrete element surfaces. The pattern creates an interesting facade while also concealing the vertical seams between the elements.
The pattern was designed by Architect Mikko Soini from Tommila Architects by applying various natural themes, as well as point and line rasters. The final pattern was a line raster based on a combination of these that was softened with curved lines and points.
“I had to create a pattern that could allow large elements to be repeated seamlessly. It had to work both up close and when viewed from relatively far away – light patterns on a dark background and dark patterns on a light background,” Soini explains.
“Graphic concrete offered the perfect solution for designing both the large surfaces of the parking garage and the small surfaces in the courtyards – it allowed me to design on both a big scale and a small scale. When viewed up close the pattern reveals the point raster, but as you move away the vertical lines take precedence. When viewing the entire building, the horizontal appearance is emphasised by the horizontal seams that divide the pattern. Graphic concrete patterns make it possible to either conceal or highlight the seams between the elements, as you prefer,” Soini continues.
Although Espoo Hospital is still under construction, Soini is already very satisfied with the end result of the facade. “It’s just like I envisioned it would be. The casting technique and finding the right colours were a challenge, but I knew they would be from the start and this actually helped me design the pattern. The pattern does a good job of concealing the vertical seams while highlighting the horizontal themes, which was one of my main objectives,” Soini says.
Graphic concrete surfaces do not require any further treatment or coatings and are delivered ready for use. The facades are also maintenance-free, making them more cost effective over the long term. The graphic concrete technique can be used on traditional concrete elements, as well as on sandwich elements and fibre-reinforced concrete surfaces.
Our collection of ready-made repeating patterns (GCCollection™) comprises around a hundred designs, in addition to which architects can modify the designs or create their own repeating patterns. Artwork and photographic images can also be transferred onto the concrete surface to create a really unique look.