The interplay between form and structure, light and shadow – in a trapezoidal concrete slab
The first drafts of the design for the SHADE slab were created with functionality and aesthetic appeal in mind, alongside a clear focus on innovation.
A simple trapezoid formed the basis of the design. This was bound within a frame, which softens the strict geometry of the inner surface through the roundness of its curves. The choice to use this unusual shape also provided clear direction for the surface design. The idea was to highlight the fascinating interplay between the inner surface and the frame through the way the surface actually appeared.
The frame of the SHADE slab boasts qualities typical of concrete as a material – not only important economic considerations, such as durability, but also the familiar rough surface texture. The narrow gap provides a clear boundary to the trapezoidal area, which has a smooth surface texture, and is particularly brought forward by the optical contrast with the frame. The structure of the trapezoid surface is defined in geometry, through inverted pyramids with a diamond base.
This simple geometric structure ensures an ever-changing shadow effect that varies according to the light. This also gives the slab its name.
From an ecological perspective, our slab has been optimised as a “natural” floor fixing, which, once installed, allows natural permeability and the variable exchange of soil, air and water. Depending on the creativity and intentions of the planner when designing the lawn or gravel bed, the SHADE slabs can be laid either in radius or against one another to achieve the desired permeability. An additional feature is the way water collects in the diamond-shaped depressions and is returned to the natural water cycle through evaporation.
What ultimately makes the SHADE slab so impressive is this successful interplay between form and structure to produce special dynamics, all the while exhibiting clear interest in producing distinctive, ¬innovative design.