The increasing popularity of the Lafarge Artevia competition reflects the growing influence of decorative and coloured concrete in local architectural designs, says Hannes Engelbrecht, Chryso Southern Africa’s Business Unit Manager: Concrete Aesthetics.

Chryso Southern Africa – exclusive distributors of Lanxess Bayferrox pigments for the construction industry in South Africa – and Lafarge Artevia co-sponsored the annual awards introduced in 2009 which showcase excellence in the use of Artevia products.

Lanxess Bayferrox pigments are used in the manufacture of the Lafarge Artevia Range.Engelbrecht says, “Decorative concrete plays an important role in daily life as a versatile design element and more and more South African architects and specifiers are now designing with concrete coloured by the environment-friendly pigments produced by Lanxess in Germany. Producers of decorative concrete building materials and accessories are now also attaining unprecedented standards in quality of workmanship and innovation.”

”Pigments can add a staggering variety of colours to concrete: from yellow to orange, red to green, and brown to black. Bayferrox pigments are particularly in demand from the construction materials industry, where the pigments are widely used for concrete elements and roofing tiles,” Engelbrecht states.

He served on the judging panel for this year’s Lafarge Artevia competition with Neville Wearne, Lafarge Marketing Manager: Readymix; Anathi Zitumane, Artevia Product Manager; and Daniel van der Merwe, architect from the Cement & Concrete Institute.

For the 2012 competition, Lafarge customers and approved applicators were invited to submit entries in three project categories featuring Artevia products: Polish, Exposed or Colour. In total 43 project entries were judged on innovative use, quality finishes, aesthetics and architectural appeal.

The overall winner of the 2012 competition was Cape Town-based, QS Concrete Grinding & Polishing, for the concrete products supplied for the construction of the house of the Harris family in Camps Bay, designed by Greg Wright Architects, also of Cape Town. Decorative concrete was innovatively used throughout the residence.

The Artevia Polish category was won by Concrete By Design for the company’s “outstanding distribution of stone in the concrete, and the quality of the finishes” at the Maidman private house in Durban, while the Artevia Exposed category was won by Horticare, for the Smith residence in Johannesburg. “The landscaping, quality of finish as well as the choice in the colour blended very well with the house’s theme,” the judges felt.

At the awards function in Cape Town, Graeme Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Chryso Southern Africa, announced commendations for two other projects: Ocean Side Trading from Johannesburg was commended for Summer Square at the HP Offices in Rivonia; and CSD Building in Durban North for the Izinga Cycling Path.

Lafarge’s Artevia is a versatile, decorative medium offering architects and builders almost limitless textures and colours in durable concrete. “The product has been stimulating a new trend in modern concrete design and setting higher standards of quality finishes in the concrete application industry. Durability of colours is achieved by using integral high-quality Lanxess pigments which are UV-stable and mixed homogeneously throughout the concrete,” says Anathi Zitumane, Artevia Product Manager.