Glowcrete: Luminescent Concrete by Vergelabs

3 June 2011 6,376 views One Comment

There’s something magic about things that glow – they’re suprising and delightful.  Think of that moment at the aquarium when you turn a corner and encounter a darkened tank illuminated by a school of luminous fish darting hither and yon, or nights spent staring up at a bedroom ceiling covered with constellations of glowing stick-on stars.

VergeLabs, an architecture and design practice based in the United Arab Emirates founded as a partnership between Ginger Krieg Dosier and Michael Dosier, brought some of that magic to concrete with their development of Glowcrete.

Image courtesy Vergelabs

The researchers used phosphorescent pigment in two ways to produce glowing concrete: they added the pigment to expansion cement, the pigment, when distributed unevenly, left a glowing trail that served as a record of the mixing process; and they also added the phosphorescent pigment to the concrete as aggregate. The even distribution of pigment in the second case creates a uniform distribution of light emission.

In each case, as the surface of the concrete weathers and erodes, new phosphorescent aggregate is exposed, which extends the lifespan of the luminescence (Source: Vergelabs).  I’d like to learn more about the phosphorescent pigment the researchers used – I’m not sure how long it lasts or whether it’s toxic (although I’d imagine the answers to those questions are: not very and yes).  That being acknowledged, I can so clearly imagine this material at the bottom of a swimming pool or fountain, or even on the underside of an unfinished concrete slab – pure magic.


I have filed glowcrete under Earth (concrete) and Fire (glowiness!)


Dosier, Ginger Kreig and Michael. “Glowcrete.” Vergelabs Research in Architecture. 05/30/06. Accessed 06/03/11. URL.


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One Comment »

  • Elite Concrete Restoration said:

    Luminescent product specifically designed for use on concrete surfaces.

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