In today’s technological society we have an abundance of building materials at our disposal but, despite the proliferation of technological advancements, in my opinion, the best building materials remain those that are tried-and-true.
Concrete is one of the easiest, most durable, and readily attainable building materials on the market and with a little manipulation one can achieve spectacular results. Dyes are one way to change the appearance but another avenue is to use a little creativity when creating the forms with which the concrete is poured.
Depending on the approach, one can use different form materials, sometimes made of wood, to control how the concrete sets. Board-form is one such approach and the Clyfford Still Museum in the Golden Triangle is an excellent example.
In this instance, the architect, Brad Cloepfil, called for wide-set, vertical board-forms in which the concrete was allowed to seep between each of the vertical planks. Once the concrete was set and the forms were chiseled away, the concrete revealed an architectural display that added a significant amount of texture and depth to an otherwise sterile concrete façade.
As gleaned from the photographs, the façade has so much texture and variation that it's nearly impossible to capture a photograph of the museum without the result looking “grainy”.
Laborious, yes, but the results are spectacular.