Of course, one of the main materials used in the buildingindustry is concrete. This is usually precast or cast in situ,depending on the design, cost and sequence of construction adopted. It can be a useful exercise to test design componentsby working with the actual materials directly, where available.

1.Softwood blocks are cut atsuitable lengths, to be assembledas shuttering for the concrete tobe cast into.

2.A simple wooden frame is made.The frame can be lined withheavily grained wood, so that thepattern of the timber shutteringis revealed in the final surface ofthe building.

3.Additional material can also beused to line the frame and allowexperimentation of surface texture– in this case, folded polythenesheeting.

4.The concrete is then mixed andthe frames are filled. Time shouldbe taken to systematically andgently press the mixture downinto the frame, in order to ensureeven casting and to avoid airbubbles.

5.The concrete is allowed to setaccording to manufacturer’sinstructions.

6.Having removed the framesand shuttering, the concretecomponent is left – sandwichingthe textured material within.

7.The two layers of concreteare separated, revealing theplastic lined element. The plasticsheeting is carefully pulled awayfrom the concrete surface.

8.The resulting concrete panel canbe used to examine the texturalpossibilities of full-size buildingcomponents, or this techniquecould be used to form elementsand bases of models across arange of scales.