Steel allowed Kunding to be playful with the staircase’s form.
Steel allowed Kunding to be playful with the staircase’s form.
Typography guru Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys, hate clutter. That’s why they love the super-sleek Berlin domicile they constructed to have just the right lines—and a host of energy-saving features behind the scenes. The stainless-steel Bulthaup kitchen "cost as much as a small house," said Spiekermann, though he did get a discount: Bulthaup is one of his clients.
Typography guru Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys, hate clutter. That’s why they love the super-sleek Berlin domicile they constructed to have just the right lines—and a host of energy-saving features behind the scenes. The stainless-steel Bulthaup kitchen "cost as much as a small house," said Spiekermann, though he did get a discount: Bulthaup is one of his clients.
The steel canopy protects the residents from Seattle’s notoriously rainy weather as they walk from the entry gate to the front door.
The steel canopy protects the residents from Seattle’s notoriously rainy weather as they walk from the entry gate to the front door.
By using salvaged materials—such as a steel staircase—and doing much of the work themselves, Andrew Moss and Michelle Yanefski built their house in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood for $135 per square foot.
By using salvaged materials—such as a steel staircase—and doing much of the work themselves, Andrew Moss and Michelle Yanefski built their house in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood for $135 per square foot.
Julie Torres Moskovitz, who designed New York’s first certified Passive House, recently finished her first book, The Greenest Home (Princeton Architectural Press), about the first wave of ultragreen homes in the United States (following the 40,000 already constructed in Europe). The title hits shelves in May 2013. Here, a custom stainless steel stair with treads of perforated steel replaces the old wood staircase in the rehabbed Park Slope brownstone.
Julie Torres Moskovitz, who designed New York’s first certified Passive House, recently finished her first book, The Greenest Home (Princeton Architectural Press), about the first wave of ultragreen homes in the United States (following the 40,000 already constructed in Europe). The title hits shelves in May 2013. Here, a custom stainless steel stair with treads of perforated steel replaces the old wood staircase in the rehabbed Park Slope brownstone.
Wooten asked Massie to incorporate a 1960s steel screen by Don Drumm into the house; Massie placed it on a central pivot so it acts as a gate, a privacy barrier, and an architectural gesture. “We actually changed the whole roofline of the porch to accommodate the screen being able to pivot,” says Massie. “The screen also allowed the building to have an immediate history.” dondrummstudios.com
Wooten asked Massie to incorporate a 1960s steel screen by Don Drumm into the house; Massie placed it on a central pivot so it acts as a gate, a privacy barrier, and an architectural gesture. “We actually changed the whole roofline of the porch to accommodate the screen being able to pivot,” says Massie. “The screen also allowed the building to have an immediate history.” dondrummstudios.com
Homeowner Simon Doonan stands next to the front door. "We have flamboyance, and we’re not inhibited about anything. [Architect] Gray Organschi gave [the house] that intellectual rigor needed to make it beautiful. We were well matched."
Homeowner Simon Doonan stands next to the front door. "We have flamboyance, and we’re not inhibited about anything. [Architect] Gray Organschi gave [the house] that intellectual rigor needed to make it beautiful. We were well matched."
“I made a very conscious decision, when I realized that the house with nothing in it was such a fantastic work of art,” says Greg Wooten, “to go out of my way to pull back and only select pieces that complemented the architecture and would allow both the house and the furniture to breathe.” The place is furnished minimally with vintage finds he chose for the rooms over time.
“I made a very conscious decision, when I realized that the house with nothing in it was such a fantastic work of art,” says Greg Wooten, “to go out of my way to pull back and only select pieces that complemented the architecture and would allow both the house and the furniture to breathe.” The place is furnished minimally with vintage finds he chose for the rooms over time.
“We took away a very thick, heavy staircase that led to the loft, and designed one that had a much lighter look,” Wåhlin says. “The new one, made of steel, looks simple and indeed light—but is in fact super heavy and was a real challenge to construct.”
“We took away a very thick, heavy staircase that led to the loft, and designed one that had a much lighter look,” Wåhlin says. “The new one, made of steel, looks simple and indeed light—but is in fact super heavy and was a real challenge to construct.”
The Helios Fire Bowl Set from Skagerak is a portable outdoor fireplace that is ideal for a back patio. It can be used as a fire pit, or with the Helios Steel Grille and some charcoal to create an outdoor grill for hotdogs, vegetables, or shish kebabs.
The Helios Fire Bowl Set from Skagerak is a portable outdoor fireplace that is ideal for a back patio. It can be used as a fire pit, or with the Helios Steel Grille and some charcoal to create an outdoor grill for hotdogs, vegetables, or shish kebabs.
A steel spiral staircase efficiently links all three floors. With no interior doors, Yurika can keep an ear on the shop from upstairs while maintaining the privacy of her home with the help of the vertical distance.
A steel spiral staircase efficiently links all three floors. With no interior doors, Yurika can keep an ear on the shop from upstairs while maintaining the privacy of her home with the help of the vertical distance.
Carport doors swing open to the alley outside of the studio, where the property extends enough for additional landscaping. The corrugated steel siding comes from a surplus from a nearby apartment building. “There’s a lot of urban infill potential in Seattle’s neighborhoods,” Wittman remarks. “We’re catching up to older, denser cities in this regard.”
Carport doors swing open to the alley outside of the studio, where the property extends enough for additional landscaping. The corrugated steel siding comes from a surplus from a nearby apartment building. “There’s a lot of urban infill potential in Seattle’s neighborhoods,” Wittman remarks. “We’re catching up to older, denser cities in this regard.”
The staircase leading to the master suite features aluminum treads supported on stainless steel tubes. "We wanted something that would allow the resin panels behind it to reflect the light from the windows at the top of the stair," Slade says.
The staircase leading to the master suite features aluminum treads supported on stainless steel tubes. "We wanted something that would allow the resin panels behind it to reflect the light from the windows at the top of the stair," Slade says.
The 925-square-foot house Maggie Treanor calls home blends into the landscape somewhat; with a galvanized steel shed roof and siding, it looks like a high-design little brother to the barns on the surrounding farms.
The 925-square-foot house Maggie Treanor calls home blends into the landscape somewhat; with a galvanized steel shed roof and siding, it looks like a high-design little brother to the barns on the surrounding farms.
When the Casali family gave Michael Krus and Prishram Jain of TACT Architecture free rein to work with unconventional materials, the architects responded by creating a geometric 4,300-square-foot smart home encased in aluminum panels by Agway Metals. The front facade features Cor-Ten steel fabricated by Praxy Cladding.
When the Casali family gave Michael Krus and Prishram Jain of TACT Architecture free rein to work with unconventional materials, the architects responded by creating a geometric 4,300-square-foot smart home encased in aluminum panels by Agway Metals. The front facade features Cor-Ten steel fabricated by Praxy Cladding.
Inspired by the Sydney Opera House, architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin paid careful attention to the extension’s “fifth elevation"—the way it’s seen from the sky. Its tiny houses, clustered at the southern end of the property, are clad in white steel panels and western red cedar shingles, contrasting materials that emphasize their geometric forms.
Inspired by the Sydney Opera House, architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin paid careful attention to the extension’s “fifth elevation"—the way it’s seen from the sky. Its tiny houses, clustered at the southern end of the property, are clad in white steel panels and western red cedar shingles, contrasting materials that emphasize their geometric forms.
“There’s a presence to that place—it’s vast, and constantly shifting,” Moffitt says. “It was clear that this house should be an observation shed for the changing landscape beyond.”
“There’s a presence to that place—it’s vast, and constantly shifting,” Moffitt says. “It was clear that this house should be an observation shed for the changing landscape beyond.”
Conceived as a glass wall or window that could swing open rather than a typical door, the resulting glass-and-metal piece is so heavy that it required its own foundation! Thanks to clever engineering by Sand Studios, even seven-year-old Macy can operate the 2,000-pound door.
Conceived as a glass wall or window that could swing open rather than a typical door, the resulting glass-and-metal piece is so heavy that it required its own foundation! Thanks to clever engineering by Sand Studios, even seven-year-old Macy can operate the 2,000-pound door.
One of the couple’s favorite elements is the tongue-and-groove wall by the stairs. After staining and finishing the Douglas fir boards themselves, they gave their contractor a mathematical pattern developed by their teenage son, Griffin. “It’s like a puzzle for people to try and figure out,” Moss says. Carrier designed the curvilinear steel railing.
One of the couple’s favorite elements is the tongue-and-groove wall by the stairs. After staining and finishing the Douglas fir boards themselves, they gave their contractor a mathematical pattern developed by their teenage son, Griffin. “It’s like a puzzle for people to try and figure out,” Moss says. Carrier designed the curvilinear steel railing.
Houston-based designer Barbara Hill is known for a stripped-down aesthetic that blends art-world cachet with Texas modernism. Vitra’s Slow chair sits in front of a powder-coated-steel bookcase made by Hill’s go-to fabricator, George Sacaris; it was originally built for the Houston house.
Houston-based designer Barbara Hill is known for a stripped-down aesthetic that blends art-world cachet with Texas modernism. Vitra’s Slow chair sits in front of a powder-coated-steel bookcase made by Hill’s go-to fabricator, George Sacaris; it was originally built for the Houston house.
Architect Jesse Garlick’s rural Washington vacation home references its rugged surroundings. The steel cladding has developed a patina similar to the ochre-red color of bedrock found in the area.
Architect Jesse Garlick’s rural Washington vacation home references its rugged surroundings. The steel cladding has developed a patina similar to the ochre-red color of bedrock found in the area.
The caged staircase was designed by architect Patrick Ousey, with whom Flournoy collaborated in the home’s design. Although initially unconvinced by the staircase detail, “it is a great example of how collaboration brings in different perspectives,” says Flournoy.
The caged staircase was designed by architect Patrick Ousey, with whom Flournoy collaborated in the home’s design. Although initially unconvinced by the staircase detail, “it is a great example of how collaboration brings in different perspectives,” says Flournoy.
In the living and dining area of Jean Risom's Block Island family retreat, mostly vintage Risom furnishings share space with a few new additions, the view facing north is framed by the wall of glass.

Photo by: Floto + Warner
In the living and dining area of Jean Risom's Block Island family retreat, mostly vintage Risom furnishings share space with a few new additions, the view facing north is framed by the wall of glass. Photo by: Floto + Warner
Rising to a catwalk above, a huge glass-and-steel central stair envisioned by architect Filippo Caprioglio spans four floors of the Chiavellis’ newly expanded house.
Rising to a catwalk above, a huge glass-and-steel central stair envisioned by architect Filippo Caprioglio spans four floors of the Chiavellis’ newly expanded house.
Architects Alice Fung and Michael Blatt designed their own home in Los Angeles, complete with a modern fireplace design clad in galvanized steel.
Architects Alice Fung and Michael Blatt designed their own home in Los Angeles, complete with a modern fireplace design clad in galvanized steel.
A salvaged 19th-century soaking tub wrapped 

in stainless steel is topped by Hudson Reed faucets.
A salvaged 19th-century soaking tub wrapped in stainless steel is topped by Hudson Reed faucets.
A narrow building next to the main structure houses storage and an outdoor kitchen.
A narrow building next to the main structure houses storage and an outdoor kitchen.
A glowing home in Japan has milky-white, one-and-a-half-inch plastic sheets wrapped around the exterior to let in light and provide insulation.
A glowing home in Japan has milky-white, one-and-a-half-inch plastic sheets wrapped around the exterior to let in light and provide insulation.
The Boo Fire Basket from Skargaarden is made of black lacquered steel. Designed to fit several logs for an outdoor fire, the Boo can also be overturned to hold a candle or lantern.
The Boo Fire Basket from Skargaarden is made of black lacquered steel. Designed to fit several logs for an outdoor fire, the Boo can also be overturned to hold a candle or lantern.
Mitchell wanted to detail the solid oak staircase with that same sense of openness, even though its materials are heavy. “We used a lot of raw steel and wood on the interior of the home,” Mitchell said. “This carries the authenticity of real materials from the building exterior to the building interior.” A custom fireplace sits on the patio.
Mitchell wanted to detail the solid oak staircase with that same sense of openness, even though its materials are heavy. “We used a lot of raw steel and wood on the interior of the home,” Mitchell said. “This carries the authenticity of real materials from the building exterior to the building interior.” A custom fireplace sits on the patio.
Pros: Stainless-steel countertops are used in restaurants and the food service industry because it is durable, easy to maintain, and scratch- and bacteria-resistant.

Cons: Installing stainless steel countertops means being ready for louder cooking, with plates and pots making more noise than they would on other surfaces. And just because the surface is stain-resistant doesn’t mean that it’s impervious to denting and scratching.
Pros: Stainless-steel countertops are used in restaurants and the food service industry because it is durable, easy to maintain, and scratch- and bacteria-resistant. Cons: Installing stainless steel countertops means being ready for louder cooking, with plates and pots making more noise than they would on other surfaces. And just because the surface is stain-resistant doesn’t mean that it’s impervious to denting and scratching.
Unlike its next-door neighbor, R-House, TED wasn’t originally planned to meet the exacting Passive House standard. The building’s green bona fides came largely from four roof-mounted thermal solar panels and a 120-gallon water storage tank that architect Tim McDonald attests would have met nearly all of the home’s heat and hot-water needs. After submitting the proposal, though, he completed a course in the Passive House standard. Inspired, McDonald modified the original approach, ditching the tank and thermal panels in favor of a highly insulated, airtight envelope—the equivalent, he says, of shielding the house from the harsh Syracuse winter with a fur coat instead of a windbreaker.
Unlike its next-door neighbor, R-House, TED wasn’t originally planned to meet the exacting Passive House standard. The building’s green bona fides came largely from four roof-mounted thermal solar panels and a 120-gallon water storage tank that architect Tim McDonald attests would have met nearly all of the home’s heat and hot-water needs. After submitting the proposal, though, he completed a course in the Passive House standard. Inspired, McDonald modified the original approach, ditching the tank and thermal panels in favor of a highly insulated, airtight envelope—the equivalent, he says, of shielding the house from the harsh Syracuse winter with a fur coat instead of a windbreaker.
The house’s dominant gable form repeats at a smaller scale throughout the dwelling, as in the kitchen’s plywood and steel cabinets. “The gable became thematic throughout the process,” Maynard explains. “Whenever issues arose, we referred back to it as a default, rather than adding a new idea." The sink is by Abey, faucet by Franke, and range by Qasair.
The house’s dominant gable form repeats at a smaller scale throughout the dwelling, as in the kitchen’s plywood and steel cabinets. “The gable became thematic throughout the process,” Maynard explains. “Whenever issues arose, we referred back to it as a default, rather than adding a new idea." The sink is by Abey, faucet by Franke, and range by Qasair.
The living area features a Petrie sofa from Crate & Barrel and a Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer from Knoll. A vintage walnut coffee table by Lane Furniture sits atop a rug that the couple purchased at Weisshouse, a Pittsburgh home-furnishings store.
The living area features a Petrie sofa from Crate & Barrel and a Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer from Knoll. A vintage walnut coffee table by Lane Furniture sits atop a rug that the couple purchased at Weisshouse, a Pittsburgh home-furnishings store.
Repurposed shipping containers serve as the primary materials for the houses and working spaces designed by ShelterKraft. The company's designs focus primarily on disaster relief projects, drawing from existing steel frames and skins in order to reduce the use of new materials. Their buildings range from small cargo cottages of 160-square-feet to 700-square-foot warehouses for industrial facilities. Athough they come with electric power, heat and plumbing, they generally require a pre-existing concrete foundation and a local contractor to ensure a smooth, safe installation.
Repurposed shipping containers serve as the primary materials for the houses and working spaces designed by ShelterKraft. The company's designs focus primarily on disaster relief projects, drawing from existing steel frames and skins in order to reduce the use of new materials. Their buildings range from small cargo cottages of 160-square-feet to 700-square-foot warehouses for industrial facilities. Athough they come with electric power, heat and plumbing, they generally require a pre-existing concrete foundation and a local contractor to ensure a smooth, safe installation.

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