Luminous concrete façades? HERING does that!

Who hasn’t hear of the Reeperbahn in Hamburg? On one of Germany’s best known streets, you are now on the safe side even at night as the seven urban railway entrances blaze with light thanks to a façade covering made of innovative fibre optics concrete. The illuminated slabs were produced in cooperation between the start-up SIUT and HERING Bau.

What is betoShell® and what is betoShellSiut®?

betoShell® from HERING is a textile-reinforced, slim and light concrete façade that meets the highest demands on quality. The elements in the betoShell® FLEX40 system, with a material thickness of 40 millimetres, for example, allow a wide range of design options to be realised in the field of innovative architectural concrete. Concrete slabs that have been reinforced with carbon or glass-fibre fabric are many times lighter and thus more resource-efficient than steel-reinforced concrete slabs.

The combination of the betoShell® textile-reinforced concrete system with the licensed SIUT lighting technology opens up unparalleled opportunities for design in the field of building construction: Luminous façades.

The SIUT technology is a patented manufacturing process that permits the targeted and individual integration of optical fibres into pre-cast concrete elements. These radiate light from the concrete, but are neither tangible nor visible when switched off, which therefore helps maintain the concrete’s natural properties along with its look and feel. The systematic integration of optical fibres in the concrete façade elements turns the material itself into a light source.

Electricity is centrally supplied to the concrete elements externally by a high-power generator installed behind the façade covering. The component and light supply are therefore separate. To ensure an even light intensity and colour consistency in the various parts of the concrete slabs, several cable routes of the same length were installed behind the structure. The illumination is not only aesthetically appealing but very energy efficient as well. There are 75 light spots per square metre. Thanks to the highly economical LED technology, the expected service life is 50,000 hours. For maintenance purposes, the complete technology including the light generators is accessible by simply releasing the façade panels engaged in a substructure.

The elements are fitted with four undercut anchors on the rear to enable them to be easily attached to a system substructure.

Pioneering Reeperbahn project in Hamburg

Seven urban railway stations along the Reeperbahn in Hamburg were modernised as part of Deutsche Bahn Station&Service AG’s “Zukunft Bahn” program. The entrances were designed with a modern look appropriate for the site. Optimising orientation and customer information, redesigning spaces and making the overall ambiance friendlier with a more obvious structure were the overriding goals of the new functional and design concept. Aside from the extensive redesign of the walls, floors and platforms, the façades on the entrances of the stations on the Reeperbahn, which need to be robust and resistant to vandalism, were designed to look more appealing. Renovations were completed and successfully accepted in the summer of 2022.

The Reeperbahn stop was first put into operation in 1979. Today the station is an integral element of the St. Pauli district that is known around the world. The stop serves as a starting point for partygoers and is especially busy on weekends. Far more than just bars and pubs can be found here today. A selection of restaurants and attractive boutiques have established themselves close to the station. There is no question that this diverse district has become more trendy. Deutsche Bahn started the renovation project against this background in 2018. The seven entrances with their aesthetic façade covering made of luminous betoShellSiut® concrete slabs are literally the highlights.

Around 600 pre-cast concrete elements with optical fibres were produced for the project by our HERING prefabricated component plant in Burbach-Holzhausen and installed in Hamburg on approximately 550 m². The concrete elements were produced with an elaborately sanded surface in the colour “Charcoal”.

Now the entrances provide a friendly, bright atmosphere and also make pedestrians feel safer in the evening and at night. For passers-by and passengers, they present a lighting scenario that welcomes them from afar and makes it easier to find the station entrances. Thanks to the premium, spectacular execution in combination with the robust materials, there has been notably little graffiti and no structural damage due to vandalism so far.

The result is something to see – an innovation and a genuine highlight!

Click here to watch the video!


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