We just visited the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and loved Tadao Ando's smooth, cool concrete walls. In one gallery, though, we also spotted a "concrete" ceiling. What was this material exactly? It's actually cement board, and it is similar in appearance to cast-in-place concrete but it comes in sheets:
That's not the museum pictured above, but rather a fiber cement board product put to use in a stair wall. Cement board is most commonly used as an underlayment for tile in showers and other wet spaces. However, it can also be used as a finish where you want the look of concrete but need the ease of installation you might find with plywood or drywall. This isn't done often, but in the few applications we've seen, we've loved it.
While cement board will never compare to Ando's luminous cast-in-place concrete walls, we will be keeping this material handy in our index of resources for future reference.
• Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
(Image: Fiber Cement Products)