Often associated with an industrial aesthetic, metal has become more prevalent in residential and commercial architecture. Its reflective quality has broadened the scope of texture and color combinations, giving rise to a fresh aesthetic for interior design. Consequently, architects and designers increasingly incorporate metallic surfaces to define floors, benches, and other furniture elements, thereby defining spatial layouts and infusing them with a contemporary vibe. To inspire this trend, we explore various methods for incorporating aluminum or similar materials into your space.
Metal: The Latest Architecture and News
Contemporary Japanese interiors incorporate elements both of tradition and modernity to embody the country's innovative spirit while maintaining a profound respect for its history and cultural heritage. Though traditional materials like wood, paper, and bamboo continue to hold significance, modern Japanese interiors also often feature a fusion of glass, steel, concrete, and metals. The juxtaposition of smoother, sleeker textures and finishes with warmer and more organic ones reflects a dynamic synthesis of old and new, and results in visually striking and functional spaces that honor the essence of the country's design principles.
Blending in with its urban context or standing out to draw attention, a façade tells a building’s story. It is an expressive medium through which we engage with architecture, defining first impressions and setting the tone for the interior by experimenting with transparency, movement, texture and color, among other aesthetic possibilities. Of course, the envelope also plays a crucial functional role, acting as a protective barrier against extreme weather conditions and directly impacting light transmittance, energy efficiency and acoustic comfort. Architects therefore face an important challenge: to achieve a balance between an attractive look and performance. To do so, it is pivotal to specify the right materials during the design stage.
A rock like marble is usually light in color when formed through a process involving the heat and pressure of limestone. Carrara marble, for example, became famous for having good workability for sculptures, but also for its extremely uniform appearance. Under skillful hands, rough stone could become works of art such as Michelangelo's Pietá or David, among many others. But if during the rock formation process there are impurities such as clay minerals and iron oxides, the resulting stone may acquire bluish, gray, pink and black hues. Something that would make its use in a sculpture unfeasible can be seen as the real beauty of the piece, and how the passage of time was printed on it. Likewise, it is very difficult to predict exactly how zinc or copper will oxidize over time, and its patina effect takes on beautiful greenish, reddish or grayish tones, depending on the conditions to which they were exposed.
Admiring the unpredictability of materials and observing the beauty of the unexpected can bring surprising results to architectural projects. Through constant research, Apavisa has been able to develop modular ceramic pieces that combine strength and versatility, reproducing in detail the materials that our environment gives us. The strength of stone and metal with their oxidative processes, the roughness and timelessness of cement or the beauty of marble with its different veins, shades and patterns.
"Here in the tropics, shade is the prime air conditioner and, unlike the stove, it can be created everywhere," says Bruno Stagno about architecture for the tropics. In this sense, how has Costa Rica been "building" it's shade over the years?
Railings play two roles in architectural projects, both as a support and safety component in a building, which involves a great deal of technical detailing and accessibility standards, and as an accent element in the design. In this article, we will explore the different ways in which these elements can be used in a project.
Whether applied as cladding to steel or timber frame structures or to structures built by traditional means, sheet metal offers an array of advantages as a building material, thanks to its low cost, ease of maintenance, and versatility.
Integrating metal panels into exterior architecture can result in a unique building that is both performative and beautiful. Metal panels customized in tandem with adaptive solutions, proprietary technology, and skilled project managers and designers create a perfect opportunity to make a statement in the surrounding built environment. Arktura provides services, resources, and materials to support endless creativity with exterior metal wall panels that give the flexibility to achieve virtually any design preference.
The issue of the housing deficit plagues virtually all countries today. According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, 330 million urban families worldwide lack decent housing, or housing costs are so heavy that they need to forgo other basic needs such as food, heath care, and education for children. According to the WRI (World Resources Institute), it is estimated that 1.6 billion people will lack adequate housing by the year 2025.
Solving this problem is, understandably, complex. Having good housing means much more than simply having a roof over your head. Good housing is essential for physical and financial security, economic productivity, and human well-being. In addition to adequate comfort, it is essential that these houses are integrated with the city, jobs, infrastructure, and city services. For people living on the street, this issue is even more delicate. Among many other necessities, having a place to structure a life is essential to moving forward and prospering. One project that confronts this issue is Emerald Village Eugene (EVE), an affordable micro-housing community with a unique housing model structured to enable residents to transition from the streets.
The use of steel in both the past and present is mainly associated with the success of grand industrial and civic structures. But due to the commercialization and standardization of steel profiles, its use in residential projects (thanks to its mechanical properties and fast installation) has resulted in complex and interesting solutions on a domestic scale.
Dive into these 15 construction details from residential projects that have made use of steel structures and cladding.
The use of steel in architecture is considered as one of the most innovative construction developments in history, allowing architects to create structures in scales they never thought they could. Fast-forward a few centuries, and steel remains as one of the most crucial materials in architecture. But there is a lot more to the material than just tensile strength and durability, some architects were well-aware of steel's potential and transformed it into lighting fixtures, facades, decorative elements, and finishes.
Here are 15 projects where architects looked beyond steel as structural support and explored its diverse possibilities in architecture.
This renovation project by Peter Ebner and friends ZT GmbH is about the history of a place and changing tastes and times. It is about not needing a large scale to radically improve the space around. It is about the beauty and character of the city with its reflected sparkling life, gloomy evening sky, raindrops and lights of passing cars. It is about people who are mostly in a hurry, but who still sometimes stop for a few seconds to take note of a special, glittering room.
A sturdy featherweight table? Sounds... contrary to reason. But this contradiction was the very impetus for the design. Created for a research center that’s pushing the boundaries of design and manufacturing using technology and science, the designers--AIRLab, in collaboration with DManD-- sought to dematerialise the typical structure of a table, creating a sense of instability with the visual counterpoint of a solid surface.
Oppenheim Architecture has released an update of their proposed Star Metals development in Atlanta, Georgia. Spread over two schemes, the project seeks to “shift the paradigm of what’s possible for new urban environments” through a 1.36 million-square-foot masterplan.
The Oppenheim scheme consists of a 14-story “Star Metals Offices” building, accommodating offices, terraces, parking, and retail, and a nine-story “Star Metals Residences” building with over 400 residential units.
A table and a bench. A coffee table and a mirror? Perhaps it’s a stool and a cutting board.
This is not a furniture identity crisis, it’s Varia, a six-piece, mix-and-match furniture collection that can create over 25 pieces of furniture, saving money, space, and time. The creators, Jamie and Laura Kickstarted their project after Jamie found herself constantly moving from one place to another, and in need of versatile material instead of having old, unnecessary furniture pieces. With just a couple of lightweight metal frames and solid hardwood accessories, the collection is ideal for compact urban living and can be transformed into different furniture pieces in no time.
In brief, this is Varia, and it is pretty much anything you want it to be.
Varia's Kickstarter ends on August 31, support Jamie and Laura's project here.