When you hear concrete, you think of a grey-flat-rough texture but you can do better than that. Concrete and its malleable (yes malleable) properties, give us countless opportunities for creative expression. Without further ado, here is our selection of concrete facades, as captivating as the material itself.\n\n\n\nConcrete is a composite material of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time. This eye-soothing, grey-shaded, raw and rigid, unfinished yet feels-good-to-touch material is implied in architectural and infrastructure constructions beyond your scope of thought: the worldwide annual production of concrete is estimated to be around 4.4 billion tons, just about 12'000 Empire State Buildings combined.\n\n\n\nSince the Ancient Romans started using concrete as a building material, it has been explored in countless applications. In this article, we focus on 6 surreal and absurdly tangible architectural uses of concrete for building facades, beyond its traditional and obvious applications:\n\n\n\nThe Chemnitz City Hall, Germany - Rudolf WeberThe Broad Museum, USA - Diller Scofidio + RenfroThe Wallenhalle Gallery, Switzerland - Baier Bischofberger Crushedwall, UK - Walter JackThe Noppenhalle Gallery, Switzerland - Baier Bischofberger The famous nostrils, UK - John Peter Darvall\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe Chemnitz City Hall, Germany - Rudolf Weber\n\n\n\nThe Chemnitz City Hall in Germany was built in the 70s'\n\n\n\nWhen Germany was still split in half under the western administration on one side and the Russian authority on other, the eastern side was infused by brutal influences as we observe in the city of Chemnitz. \n\n\n\nThe city hall was built with a particular design of polygonal pre-cast concrete tiles. The designer chose to create a patterned facade instead of balconies by putting these tiles on top of each other to form a distinct architectural geometry.\n\n\n\nEach singular element of the facade seems like carefully twisted flower petals. This impressive concrete molded facade, built-in 1979 is still influencing the work of modern designers.\n\n\n\nDetail of The Chemnitz City Hall with its twisted ribbon-like concrete facade\n\n\n\nThe Broad Museum, USA - Diller Scofidio + Renfro \n\n\n\nThe Broad Museum stands out with its concrete facade even if located besides Frank Gehry\u2019s Walt Disney concert hall in LA\n\n\n\nThe Broad Museum of contemporary art was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in 2015. The outer shell covering the building is called the \u201cveil\u201d, designed in fiberglass reinforced concrete panels. The entire envelope is a charming composition of more than 2500 parallelograms, adding liveliness to the building. \n\n\n\nReferred to as \u2018the cheesegrater\u2019 by locals, this facade of the museum was in a disapproved and argumentative phase for a long time. Fortunately, the outer shell gives a unique character to the entire structure becoming a significant landmark to the area.\n\n\n\nThe Broad Museum\u2019s concrete facade is designed with 2500 parallelograms becoming an exceptional photogenic backdrop\n\n\n\nThe Wellenhalle Gallery, Switzerland - Baier Bischofberger \n\n\n\nThe Wellenhalle Gallery\u2019s concrete facade showcases the material in a wavy motion, redefining the bulky look of concrete\n\n\n\nThe Wellenhalle Gallery in M\u00e4nnedorf, Switzerland, is designed by Baier Bischofberger and represents a brilliant example of a creative and unusual application of concrete.\n\n\n\nThe gallery facade has been in talks for presenting concrete stiffness in a fluid way, floating against the surface, generating motion-wave appearance. \n\n\n\nThis approach of creating a pattern in a meticulously thin flexible strip gives lightness to tone down the heavy and stiff look of the material. The pattern is even more impactful as it contrasts with the black stained glass wrapping the building.\n\n\n\nThis concrete facade is a stunning example of the material mimicking a flowing motion\n\n\n\nCrushedwall, UK - Walter Jack\n\n\n\nCrushedwall is a brilliant example of concrete simulating liquid forms\n\n\n\nConcrete material and its applications have always given a notion of being rigid and tough. Crushedwall is a smashing idea to show concrete in its liquid stage, representing the processing of cement before being leveled in its traditional use. \n\n\n\nBritish artist Walter Jack believes that the process is always more spellbinding as compared to the actual result: \u201cWatch glass blowing and you will see more beauty there than is in the finished vase! Concrete is not noted for its fluid softness, and yet it is also a liquid\u201d.\n\n\n\nWalter wanted to let the material tell its own story, retaining the liquidness of its process, and the outcome is this astonishing flying-curtain-looking wall of concrete. \n\n\n\nCrushedwall showcases the liquid form of concrete instead of its final result\n\n\n\nThe Noppenhalle Gallery, Switzerland - Baier Bischofberger\n\n\n\nAn old factory renovated into a private exhibition space with an iconic and robust concrete facade\n\n\n\nConcrete has always been the hero element in Baier Bischofberger architects\u2019 works, explored through diverse applications and glorifying the material's characteristics. That said, the Noppenhalle Gallery is another example of Baier's designs, where the concrete stands out through the building's unique facade design. \n\n\n\nThe Noppenhalle Gallery is an old factory converted into a private art exhibition space, as part of a series of renovation projects by Baier Bischofberger architects. \n\n\n\nThe gallery facade is made of hundreds of pre-casted concrete circular inverted bowls, placed in a strictly organized grid formation, emphasizing the strong appeal of the material. \n\n\n\nThe Noppehalle Gallery highlighting the concrete facade by meticulous lighting that provides a certain lightness to the heavy concrete facade\n\n\n\nChrist Church & Upton Chapel, UK - John Peter Darvall\n\n\n\n\u201cThe famous nostrils\u201d is a graceful concrete facade of a small church in London\n\n\n\nAfter the destruction of the Christ Church and the Upton Chapel during the Second World War, designer Peter Darvall combined them to rebuilt one multi-use structure; a melange of the post-war architecture and modern glass commercial block. This concrete facade with its organically bent surface moving in, out, up, and down, is an original and modern architectural touch for a spiritual building. \n\n\n\nNamed after a number of curious titles, "The famous nostrils", "Gaudi's reflection", "wrinkled skin and noses" or "3d wallpaper effect", the facade keeps surprising visitors and leaving them with imaginative interpretations. \n\n\n\nThe facade is a magnificent pattern comprises of cross-passing wrinkled concrete elements\n\n\n\nYou had enough of concrete facades?We did not: discover the unique concrete facade of Hunters Point Library was made.