Modern Sculptural Design with Ultra High Performance Concrete
31 May 2023

Modern Sculptural Design with Ultra High Performance Concrete

In Kaunas, the second largest City of Lithuania, next to the river Nemunas (Njemen), a very modern, sustainable construction has been developed – using special binder NANODUR from Dyckerhoff. Its name: MAGNUM business center.

The building was concepted from the architects UAB "Archas" as “city within a city”. It consists of two towers containing about 1,700 offices and are twelve and eight floors high, respectively. The towers are connected by commercial premises on the lower floors, and on top of the connecting bridge there are several roof terraces. Furthermore, there are a bicycle parking area with showers and changing rooms, electric car charging stations, a two-story underground car park as well as street-level parking. A flexible conference room suitable for various events makes MAGNUM business center to an all-round location. The whole building is controlled by a renewable energy-powered electricity system that selects the most suitable microclimate for the individual sections by automatically adjusting heat and the low-cost LED lighting. With its outline, the MAGNUM business center fits perfectly into the existing cityscape and beautifully blends with its natural surroundings.

Unique and individually textured panels with an organic appearance, but made from ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) are used for the façade (approx. 2,600 sqm) and the interior (approx. 300 sqm). Outside they are combined with a dazzling glass façade and inside with in situ casted exposed concrete elements.The manufacturer of the panels is Hibeton, a domestic producer who specialized in precast concrete elements for façades or interior use as well as 3D concrete elements from ultra high performance fiber reinforced concrete.

The textured façade panels have got a size up to 1.50 x 4.20 m. In the interior, textured panels with a size of up to 1.40 x 3.80 m were installed. All panels, in- and outside, have got a max. thickness of 28 mm and 4 mm texture deepness. For the production of the panels unique textured molds were designed and made from polypropylene sheets, using CNC technology. Besides graded sand (maximum grain size 0-2 mm), pigments for the coloring and various other admixtures, the special binder Dyckerhoff NANODUR Compound 5941 white was used for manufacturing the panels. This binder is highly suitable to create thin concrete elements in unique shapes or forms that meet high stability demands. The panels’ surfaces additionally were treated with lithium and potassium silicate mix with black pigments to achieve a deeper color. Instead of using a water-repellent coating – as in case of the façade panels, interior panels were covered with three layers of a two-component water based transparent polyurethane.

Since very small component diameters – in this case only 28 mm – are possible with UHPC, the CO2 footprint of UHPC façades is significantly lower than that of façades made of normal concrete. The lower panel weight usually also reduces CO2 emissions for transport and crane services. The manufacturer Hibeton stated, “Our motto and philosophy is ascetic excellence. It means to produce valuable, durable and long-lasting products, and UHPC is the perfect material for that. So, UHPC contributes to this building being sustainable and environmentally friendly.

And last but not least, following the concept of urban mining, the in situ concrete for the building was produced partly with concrete waste obtained during the demolition of an unfinished hotel construction which had occupied the space for over 30 years. All in all, MAGNUM business center is one of the largest A+ energy class business centers in Kaunas featuring modern technical solutions and innovations, especially in terms of sustainability.

The German consulting and engineering company durcrete, a long-standing technology partner of Dyckerhoff and experienced in the use of UHPC with NANODUR Compound 5941, assisted the manufacturer in all phases of construction.

All photos: © Hibeton

Dyckerhoff GmbH, Product Marketing

Please contact for additional information:

Iris Weise-Rosch, phone: +49 611 676-1187