Steel can be used as an interesting and inexpensive facade treatment. In Portland, Oregon, an industrial designer's house blends economy and simplicity: Black corrugated steel gives it a distinctive facade, while keeping costs down.
Architect Reinhold Andris has lived in his house in southwestern Germany since 1998. Seventeen years on, the structure remains emblematic of his modernist perspective. “It’s a very open architecture,” he says, noting the near-invisible steel frame and pervasive use of glass. Unlike the traditional stone houses in the neighborhood, Andris’s home feels lightweight, thanks in part to the split-level plan and spatial fluidity. “When the sun moves through the house, it creates thousands of different situations of light,” he explains. “It’s still interesting to me.”
When David McAdam, co-owner and chief dreamer of Blue Sky Homes, bought 2.5 acres of cactus-studded land near Palm Springs, California, he didn’t know what kind of getaway he wanted to build, but he did know one thing: no wood. “It’s boring, and I see how it works in the desert. It gets destroyed,” he says, remembering the damage he’d seen other houses suffer in the unrelenting sun. In building this affordable, sustainable, and prefabricated home, he opted for a steel framing system.
Edge Studio's apartment building with its glass-and-steel facade is a glowing example of the urban renaissance that's gripping Steel City. The 947 Liberty Lofts, in downtown Pittsburgh’s Penn-Liberty Historic District, is one of developer Eve Picker’s efforts to bring the city core back to life. A 20-foot setback leaves room for an outdoor café that bustles at lunchtime. The 15-foot sculptures were created by James Simon, a Pittsburgh artist.
Colorful and corrugated, shipping containers make for a compelling—and sustainable—steel building material, as this cost-efficient home in Costa Rica shows.