From decorative to structural, this month’s roundup represents the state of the art and technology involved in such innovative materials and processes as versatile steel-frame formworks, light-transmitting concrete panels, special flooring finishes, and veneer cladding systems. — Linda C. Lentz

At the World of Concrete, held in Las Vegas from January 22 to 25, Italian manufacturer Farina Casseforme showcased its Destil Formwork System, a sophisticated series of modular concrete framing components, in a visually compelling pavilion (above), designed by L.A.-based Italian architect Marcello Pozzi.

Flexible Italian formworks system is transformed into its own traveling exhibition
Intrigued by a rough architectural aesthetic, Italian architect Marcello Pozzi, principal of the L.A.-based MLLO, gladly took on the challenge of designing a pavilion to introduce the heavy-duty construction wares of Farina Casseforme at the World of Concrete. This being the Italian company’s first foray into the U.S. market, the booth needed to convey its product and service offerings in the typical instant required to garner attention at such an exhibition.

To Pozzi, the solution was apparent. “My idea was basically to use the language of the formworks to create the installation. On a job site they would be temporary.

But I saw them as having the consistency and weight of real construction.” In this way, he explains, “They became the architecture of the pavilion—the actual walls, ceiling, table, and desks.”

Indeed, the Destil Formwork System is a comprehensive lineup of modular 400-pound steel frames backed by phenolic-resin-treated plywood and engineered to hold fluid tons of concrete up to a pressure of 80 kilograms per square meter. In the real world, they are used to form walls, columns, and slabs during construction. As the dynamic structural element of the pavilion, they were presented out of context and appeared light and buoyant, simultaneously demonstrating their efficiency, functionality, and flexibility.

The company can provide standard heights of approximately 48" and 118"; special-order sizes of 54", 106", and 130"; and custom sizes and shapes, such as special angles, corners, and circular walls. A generous range of interchangeable accessories, clamps, and points of connection allows for numerous configurations of the steel frame modules in any position. To assure things run smoothly, the system is supported by full technical assistance pre- and post-sale.

In designing the pavilion, Pozzi worked in close collaboration with Ottavio Farina, who directed the engineering team to solve the issues of height and stability, and graphic designer Emanuele Gipponi, who created the billboard-inspired logos—a salute to L.A.

As for the system, according to Pozzi, “It is very simple; moreover, its modularity allows you to do almost anything.” Farina Casseforme, San Donato Milanese, Italy.

[Reader Service: April 2008 #211]


Finishing touch
Developed for numerous interior effects and applications, QC Concrete Dye is a translucent, micronized, chemically inert, nonreactive pigment that penetrates deep into a concrete overlay surface or slab and permeates the pores of the substrate. The vibrant colorations leave no film or coating to wear away. Available in solvent-based and LEED-qualified water-based versions, it comes in 16 field-dilutable hues. QC Construction Products, Madera, Calif. www.

[Reader Service: April 2008 #212]


Nature’s clone
Notable for its realistic stone appearance, ProStone Manufactured Stone Veneer is a cementious product that provides the aesthetic and structural properties of the real thing without the typical costs. Manufactured to comply with all major building codes and AC-51, for both residential and commercial projects, ProStone components are available in more than a dozen natural shades and textural combinations to suit a variety of architectural styles. Additionally, it comes with a 25-year limited warranty. Owens Corning Masonry Products, Toledo, Ohio.

[Reader Service: April 2008 #213]