Steel has stopped being hidden inside the concrete to become the protagonist in the construction of residences, commercial establishments, and enormous infrastructure works. Currently, it has been positioned as a tendency in interior design and architectural design.
The manufacturing processes of steel have evolved, and alongside them, the construction. Thanks to technological advances, infrastructure projects require less and less time to be performed, and this metal has been essential to achieving that.
According to the Colombian Committee of Steel Manufacturers of ANDI, “since three decades ago, national steelworks have worked in the continuous improvement of rebar steel for construction, in this manner they have developed steel which is adequate for use in seismic-resistant constructions”.
Even though several qualities of steel, such as its resistance and durability, are essential for the safety of the works; its malleability has also allowed it to be part of the interior and exterior design, occupying a visible space within modern buildings.
Steel and architectural tendencies
Cities are recognized by their design, infrastructure, and city planning. In Paris: The Eiffel Tower; in San Francisco: The Golden Gate; in London: the London Eye. What do all of these historical reference points have in common? The presence of steel in their construction.
Due to its properties, this metal has been utilized worldwide to build the most iconic works. Additionally, it has become part of the tendencies of interior design and architectural design of buildings such as residences, offices, businesses, and malls.
Steel is an essential element within contemporary architecture. Because of that, next, we will show you a few concepts, methods, and styles in which it is the protagonist.
Steel in plain view
Embedded in the industrial style, steel in plain view was born as a tendency in buildings, especially in offices and companies. However, residences designed under this model are becoming more common, with the objective of giving an avant-garde touch to every space.
Protruding beams, naked pillars, and spiral staircases are some of the elements that are part of this style of interior design. Moreover, decorative objects such as tables, shelves, and lamps also complement the modern environment.
Steel framing or modular design
It makes reference to the use of cold-rolled laminated structures that are arranged in such a way that they create a cover in which plates are installed to create the floor, the ceiling, and the walls.
Because of this technique, it is much faster and cost-effective to finish the work, in comparison with a building created, traditionally, with bricks and concrete. Likewise, the qualities of steel, such as durability, make the adjustment of the building to weather conditions possible.
Modular design facilitates the expansion of spaces. For example, if someone wants to have an additional room in their house they can resort to steel framing to create it in a safe and timely manner. Additionally, regarding the environment, it minimizes the production of rubble and the use of water and energy.
It focuses on reducing elements that lack utility as much as possible. Thereby, promoting the intelligent use of spaces, creating harmonious and orderly environments. Alloyed steel is important to achieve that because it allows for the creation of open spaces without the use of big pillars.
Wide windows, steel in plain view, and neutral color form part of the minimalist style, which also relies on the glass to achieve greater quantities of natural light and more aesthetic facades. Due to the new applications of steel and its malleability, the structures are becoming more varied and innovative, with higher ceilings and unique shapes.
If the architecture plays with structures when it comes to minimalism, de-constructivism takes this dynamic to the extreme. It is a tendency that, based on malleable materials such as steel, creates buildings with unimaginable shapes, far from what is traditional.
This movement is characterized by not following rules, breaking what has been established in classic architecture and putting symmetry aside. Due to developments in alloys and coatings, the limits to creating diverse forms have vanished.
The City of Culture of Galicia, in Santiago de Compostela, and the works of Frank Gehry, are perfect examples of what de-constructive architecture means.
In essence, the processes which are becoming more innovative with the development of steel are fundamental to the creation of new architectural tendencies. Additionally, they are important not only in designing, but they also promote constructions that are safer and more in touch with the needs of the people.