Modern materials as palette in residential architecture

01 Oct 2014

Too much is overpowering just as not enough is uninspiring.

Steel, glass and concrete can be successfully blended with natural materials to make a statement of organic modernity, if they are architecturally blended like the contrasting paints of an artist’s palette.

Metals in structure and coverings can be used to add excitement, and style. But this must be done in a critical relationship with design and counter-posed against softer, warmer materials that anchor the form to the immediate environment.


Innately Industrial Materials

The American minimalist artist Richard Serra is well known for his juxtaposition of iron plates and park spaces in ways that are jarring and yet inspired. An iron plate left to rust in a forest has both a disconcerting dissonance and an organic flow that architects intuitively find satisfying.

The object becomes a process in the context of a space. One need not go to the extremes of a Serra sculpture installation to make metals into decorative and structural materials for a modern home.


Modern Materials As Palette In Residential Architecture Article


Corrosion As Inspiration

Metals in combination with glass and concrete do not necessarily have to be heartless. These materials can provide the volume and space that opens a home to the world. It is the role of the architect to find the balance that reflects the humanity of the lives lived within such a home. It can be done and done well.

The patina of a steel panel might be fascinating as it lightens and reddens over decades. The strength of metal alloys also has a great use in structural forms. The high ceiling of an open plan design can create a large volume interior space, where metal and concrete supports stand back and facilitate an open volume, enclosed by walls of glass.


The Organic Palette Resolves Visual Dissonance

The matching of glass and steel with wood and stone can create interest and features that are much more lively than they would be on their own.

The process of oxidation changes the features of a building, much like the matching of geometric lines in a contemporary home with a well placed mature jacaranda tree that flowers with the seasons. In this way, a clever use of materials can speak about the flow of time as well as the rhythms and cycles of the seasons.

Staff Contribution | Thought Leadership

Find us on Facebook Find us on Facebook Find us on Google +

< Back

Opening the Gates to the Benefits of Green Design

The monthly media release of the Property Council of Australia, in Hunter, had two key themes revolving around the topic of green innovation. The first was to use green innovation as the major driver of developments with medium density and the other was to use it as a method to open up the regional land supply. >

Australia’s Newest Trends of Multi-Residential Architecture

Trends in multi-residential building include place making and the micro climate of tall structured buildings. Here are some insights on the multi-residential trends that are currently prevailing in Australia: >

Our Profile

At Loucas Zahos, it is our approach that sets us apart – quality with commercial success. As a results driven service, ideas are our currency and a challenge always represents the opportunity for strategic growth and design. It is this mind-set that has enabled us to continually break new ground and remain at the forefront of our industry for more than two decades. >