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The cement is chipping away on my front-porch steps. Portions of two window sills have fallen off. And my building is only 50-some years old. This wouldn’t happen if I lived in a concrete house. Concrete (of which cement is an ingredient, along with sand, water, and stone) combines the strength of rock with the added value of malleability—so a concrete house could be shaped like anything. Which is kind of the idea behind the National Building Museum’s exhibition “Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete.” For instance, the designers of the Rohner Office Building in Fussach, Austria, drew inspiration “from the image of an aquatic bird standing effortlessly on one leg.” Well, maybe I wouldn’t want to live in a bird building. But perhaps I can find a decent contractor at the exhibition, which is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (to Jan. 23; see City List for other dates) at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $5 (suggested donation). (202) 272-2448. (Dave Nuttycombe)