The most important aspect of buildings that we experience as sensual are the materials they are built of. One of the characteristics that enable you to recognise many HVP buildings is the concrete, which is roughened after the formwork has been removed. The rough-sawn boards of the formwork create irregular concrete beads that are used as horizontal or vertical articulation, internally and externally, as a plinth, or as bands. The roughly made quality of this unusual material takes from every building the sense of newness or smoothness. The irregular protrusions cast shadows and the coarse-grained material reflects the sun. Together with light brown okumé panels – another distinguishing mark of buildings by HVP and often continued from inside to outside – a very special material effect is created. And when the surface of the concrete is additionally coloured black then the effect is earthy and fascinating. HVP chose this kind of black concrete structure for the first time in 1993–95 for the local council building in Bech-Kleinmacher, where an antithesis and “foreignness” to the existing buildings were deliberately accentuated by means of the unusual colour and coarse surface. How differently these materials can be used is shown by the almost elliptically curved transparent frame wall that the architects placed in the courtyard of the former Brotfabrik in Vienna. It consists of black, cast concrete elements with coarse-grained horizontal fluting and has the effect of a second, permeable courtyard façade – a solution that is as intelligent as it is simple. A classic white building or the glass and steel buildings currently so popular have difficulties with ageing. Indeed the question of ageing gracefully in an era dominated by a mania for youth and staying young, in which buildings are expected to look new and fresh for as long as possible, is a difficult one. But being able to age is a quality of good architecture and certainly not a defect. The buildings by HVP are intended to acquire a patina, to reflect life and time, and in this sense their skin should change like the wrinkles that develop in a person’s face. The architects are not afraid of such traces of time or of the effects of weathering; in fact they even look for them. When the metal of their roofs changes colour, when plaster shows cracks, when smears develop, when concrete turns dark, in their view this is no reason to call for repair work to be carried out. Even when grass and plants colonise a roof or a façade they Tauschare regarded with friendly interest rather than torn out by the roots. “What is imperfect is real and therefore loveable.” (FV)