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November 20, 2012

Complex of court buildings in Spain selected as the most significant example of concrete colored with inorganic pigments

Sir David Chipperfield wins LANXESS 2012 Colored Concrete Works Award

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has established a new award: The Colored Concrete Works Award is to be awarded annually to architects who have distinguished themselves in the use of color in concrete buildings. On November 20, the 2012 Colored Concrete Works Award was presented to the prominent architect David Chipperfield for his “Ciutat de la Justícia” in Barcelona. The jury of pigment and marketing experts from the LANXESS Inorganic Pigments Business Unit (IPG) selected the court building complex as the best project in this year’s case study category. Criteria included the building’s colorfulness, function and significance.

The award ceremony was held at the company’s Berlin offices and attended by international guests representing government, the building industry and business. Crafted in colored concrete, the award was presented by Sebastian Körber, spokesman for constructional issues of the FDP Bundestag faction, and Jörg Hellwig, head of LANXESS’ Inorganic Pigments Business Unit. “With the ‘Ciutat de la Justícia,’ David Chipperfield Architects in collaboration with b720 Arquitectos has created an architectural still life of structures that is both functional and sensational. The integrally colored concrete used for the facades gives each building a certain individuality and visually softens their severe appearance,” Hellwig pointed out in his laudatory speech.

Chipperfield expressed his gratitude for the award and emphasized in his talk the significance of colored design solutions for architecture and infrastructure. “Colored concrete can be combined with a variety of materials and makes it possible to integrate modern buildings into any number of environments and natural settings,” he explained. “It is legitimate to ask us architects why we think concrete has to be gray,” Chipperfield said.

240,000 square meters of justice

The book Colour in Mass, published by Fermín Vázquez, head of “b720 Arquitectos” in Spain, describes in detail the construction of the court district in Barcelona, from project planning to completion.

The Ciutat de la Justícia (City of Justice) looms enormously above the Gran Via in Barcelona. Covering an area of 240,000 square meters, the buildings with up to 14 floors form a homogeneous mega-sculpture. Inside are court rooms, government agencies and offices, as well as law practices, a cafeteria, and a coffee bar in an atrium. Concrete integrally colored with Bayferrox and Colortherm pigments from LANXESS gives the ensemble a particular visual appeal.

Colored Concrete Works – Examples of modern building coloring

With its Colored Concrete Works series of publications, LANXESS would like to provide architects with inspiration for their work. “Numerous buildings constructed every year around the world are colored with our inorganic pigments. From the various projects submitted to us as reference properties, or which IPG itself comes across, we select three every year that we feel are the most significant,” explains Thomas Pfeiffer, Vice President Region EMEA & Global Key Accounts in IPG. These case studies are presented in the Colored Concrete Works series of publications. They are available in nine languages on the Internet and in print. “The publication’s wide circulation gives architects and developers incentive to submit the colored construction projects they have completed using our iron and chromium oxide pigments,” Pfeiffer says.

These examples of outstanding buildings in colored concrete from around the world are available on the Internet at www.colored-concrete-works.com.

LANXESS is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of inorganic iron oxide and chrome oxide pigments with sites in Germany, Brazil and China, as well as additional mixing and milling plants in Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States. The business unit is part of LANXESS’ Performance Chemicals segment, which recorded sales of EUR 2.13 billion in fiscal 2011.

Knighthood for architecture


Sir David Chipperfield was born on December 18, 1953, in London, England. He studied architecture in London at the Kingston School of Art, now Kingston University, and the Architectural Association. After earning his degree in 1977, he worked together with Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. He began working independently in 1985, establishing his globally active firm, David Chipperfield Architects. Today, he has over 250 employees at offices in London, Berlin, Milan and a representative office in Shanghai.

David Chipperfield is a Knight Bachelor and bearer of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He has received international awards for his work, such as the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal in 1999, the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts in 2010 and the Grand DAI Award for Building Culture in the same year from the Verband Deutscher Architekten- und Ingenieurvereine for his life’s work. David Chipperfield Architects won the 2007 Stirling Prize of the Royal Institute of British Architects for designing the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany. For the restoration of the New Museum in Berlin, the firm in 2011 received the German Architecture Prize and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, also called the Mies van der Rohe Award.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.8 billion in 2011 and currently around 17,100 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 49 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good.

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