Remarkable Belgian Projects Using Coloured Exposed Aggregate Concrete Surfaces

Paper by RENS VOYEUX VAN DE CRAEN VAN HUYNEGHEM BLOND from ISCR 9th 2004 Instanbul Turkey

The use of coloured exposed aggregate concrete in public spaces has made considerable progress in Belgium. As such, urban planners have become aware of the architectural value of this technique. The variety of shapes, colours and textures combined with the well-known advantages of concrete such as resistance and durability explain this development. This paper presents three public spaces: one in front of the casino in Dinant, a second in St Jans square at the heart of Antwerp and a third one in Saint-Hubert. In Arms square in Dinant, grey exposed aggregate concrete was used for a towpath along the river Meuse and a bright French-stone-coloured concrete surface was laid in front of a new building. White cement was used to enhance the location’s brightness. In Antwerp, a combination of yellow and black concrete surfaces representing an area of approximately 10,000 m² was chosen when rebuilding St-Jans square. The concrete pavement was executed using a slip form paver in two-layers, i.e. a first 18 cm layer of normal road concrete and a second 7 cm one of fine exposed aggregate concrete. In Saint-Hubert, the main street and a new roundabout have been reconstructed with natural-looking browncoloured concrete. This paper describes all the associated design, composition and execution details. For all of the three projects, the choice of material was an important issue and quality depended on the accuracy of the detailed work carried out.

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