From girders to grating, steel has long been a popular, highly recyclable, and relatively inexpensive material for architects, designers, and builders. Here we present some inspired applications, taken from our own archives.
"I've always had this fascination with industrial buildings, and with my work, I’ve been in a lot of steel mills," says designer James Campbell of a Collingwood, Toronto, house he created using salvaged scrap metal. "Plus, I’m a modernist, so the way to combine those things is to build an environment with stuff I’m familiar with." Inside the house, an aluminum bench harmonizes with galvanized-steel walls and a polished concrete floor. Read the full article here.
Landscape architect and artist Mikyoung Kim created a Cor-ten steel fence to enclose a three-acre site in Lincoln, Massachusetts. “The entire fence is made using just seven lengths of modular, precut Cor-Ten steel bars, with widths being anywhere from two to five bars thick," explains the designer. "Depending on the angle from which you see it, the fence can appear transparent or opaque.” Read the full article here.
The front entrance of the Farley Studio in Cleburne, Texas, presents a clean, minimalist space—a stark contrast to the colorful clutter of the painting studio hidden behind corrugated-metal walls at the back of the house. Local context and cost of materials were primary determinants in architect M.J. Neal’s planning process: “[Corrugated-metal buildings] sit on the land and they don’t take anything away from it,” he says. “The form can handle the landscape and vice versa.” Read the full article here.
Pierre Kozely mends his bike on a patio in the rear yard of his Venice, California, house. Behind him is a Cor-Ten rolling gate, conceived by architect Michael Sant, that gives access to the back alley. Read the full article here.
Adrienne Webb and Stefan Dunlop's home in northeastern Australia—a steel-framed glass box clad in strips of spotted gum timber and sheets of fiber cement—is a modern take on traditional Queensland architecture, raised off the ground to allow for plenty of storage beneath. Corrugated tin covers their studio and echoes the adjacent corrugated-iron water-storage tanks, which collect and filter rainwater off the roof. Read the full article here.
Oxidized steel and woven steel mesh define architect Matthew Trzebiatowski's three-story structure, which is situated in the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix, Arizona. The mesh curtain is not simply a shading device. “It’s truly a veil,” Matthew says. “There’s so much intensity of the outdoor amount of lumens and lights, but when you’re inside it completely evaporates, disappears. The amount of glazing we have in this space would be really overpowered if we didn’t have it.” Read the full article here.
Architect Anthony Pellecchia and his wife, graphic designer Kathy Wesselman, gingerly approached their idyllic setting in Seattle, Washington, designing a structure that looks as if it grew up right alongside the surrounding trees. A galvanized grating bridge connects the house to the site but also maintains a sense of separation. "We wanted to minimize the amount of nonporous surfaces," explains Pellecchia. "The beauty of [galvanized grating] is that the rain is able to pass through it, so vegetation can grow." Read the full article here.
Architects Dawn Finley and Mark Wamble's 1,200-square-foot house in Houston, Texas, is clad in corrugated metal and contains their five-person firm, Interloop—Architecture. The material is popular in the area because it won’t get moldy and rot in the swampy air, and because it’s easy to maintain. But it’s also a local resource that evokes the shotgun shacks and warehouses of the city’s pre–oil boom past. “This is the metal building capital of the country,” Finley says. “So this material is coming off the coil in Houston.” Read the full article here.