"We see the future as a volume of white sheets on which we can draw in an unlimited way."
This is the vision of URBASTYLE, a family-owned concrete street furniture design company based in Tournai. His fame is today international. One of his latest creations, a modular bench designed in partnership with American designer Joe Doucet, is on Times Square. A great value for a job that combines high quality know-how with a new 3D printing technology unique in the world.
• Design as a driver of development and innovation
• Push the limits of applications related to a material
• Complementarity between know-how and new technology
A real driving force for innovation, design is at the heart of this company's development.
At URBASTYLE, every day represents a challenge for the realization of new products, services, materials and processes. Its success rests notably on its versatile team which includes strong skills and know-how.
URBASTYLE, along with other European partners, has created Concrenetics to develop HyCoEx technology, a new, fully digital production method. Its ambition: push the limits of production in the field of concrete.
A visionary company
In 1985, Etienne Laroy founded URBADAL, a company specializing in the design of concrete slabs. His sons, Jan and Bart, join him in the 90s and find that a market is to be taken in the field of street furniture. They develop a range of products and worked together with designers and architects on custom projects. URBADAL then became URBASTYLE and today has more than 50 employees (carpenters, ironworkers, welders, polishers, salespeople ...) including two designers in-house. The projects they carry out are almost exclusively custom-made.
It is because URBASTYLE is in constant dialogue with designers and architects that they have been able to anticipate changes and propose new solutions to adapt their production to ever more varied demands. Jan and Bart have been working for five years on the development of a technological solution capable of producing concrete elements with no limit in size and shape. "Today, designers are more and more ambitious in their demands, we have to follow them, and it's very rewarding for the staff to be challenged by designers." Samira El Ghouch, communication manager at URBASTYLE. Ancestral technique vs new manufacturing process In the field of concrete, production methods are semi-artisanal. Labor is important at every stage of production and this is the company's name. Today, a new technology unique in the world is complementary to this line of artisanal production and develops the field of possibilities of the company. Still in the development phase (patent pending technology), HyCoEx could revolutionize the concrete furniture market for a number of reasons. Indeed, it allows:
• push the limits of production and applications
• customization of shapes and patterns to infinity
• reduce production costs:
• no need to design a mold
• no need to plan the transport of objects as the technology can be installed directly on site
• facilitate the work of handling contractors
• reduce the ecological impact (linked in particular to transport)
HyCoEx may one day completely replace mold production but certainly never the company's human know-how.
This technology remains a tool for the development of projects. Human skills are the main representatives of the knowledge of the material, guaranteeing the quality of the production.
A modular bench made in partnership with the designer Joe Doucet is a first prototype. It was designed for the 2019 Design Pavilion NYC event and is installed on Times Square for three years.