News | Metal Fabrication


The Age of Architectural Metalwork

17 March

Headland Admin

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The age of architectural metalwork is upon us. Increasingly, architects are using the skills and expertise of metal fabricators to bring their creations to life using steel.

Architectural metalwork can include pieces such as balustrades, staircases, sculptures and metal canopies, each creating a modern and unique feel to any design.

There are numerous advantages to using steel in projects as it has a lifespan of up to 25 plus years. Metalwork or the use of steel is becoming more common in architectural projects because of the ease to manipulate the material into any shape using new innovative technology on the market.

Fabricators are incorporating this type of work into their services as more and more designers are choosing to use steel in their projects.

The incorporation of intricate metalwork can be seen on numerous building projects around Australia.

Take the Dr Chau Chak Wing of the University of Technology featured above. This $180 million dollar project in Sydney, features a stunning sculptural staircase with precision cut sheet metal forming the unique design.

No matter how large or small the project, there is versatility with this type of architecture. Sheet metal is the blank canvas to a creative mind, and no matter the vision it can now be manipulated into just about anything.

Aboriginal Garden at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – Image courtesy of OnConstructions Pty Ltd

Michael White from Hygrade Laser Profiling, recently completed a job for OnConstruction Pty Ltd, where they laser cut a 6.0mm Mild Steel Frame that borders an Aboriginal Garden at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. What is unique about this project is the shape in which the steel had to be cut.

Hygrade Laser profiling used the TRUMPF L3050 to laser cut the Whale design, which is approximately 14m long. Laser technology plays a big part in creating architectural designs like this, and Michael from Hygrade says this type of architecture is becoming more popular because of the availability of new technology.

“Laser cut artwork is more prevalent in architectural design of recent times because of the appeal of unlimited profiles at their fingertips” Michael says.

The projects associated with fabricated metal in the architecture industry vary in size. At the end of last year the Star City Events Centre was completed and won the 2014 Steel Excellence Award.

Image courtesy of Taylor Thomson Whitting Consultancy Engineering

The Star City Events Centre is made entirely by architectural metalwork. According to an article by Architecture and Design, the building “comprises over 1,000 tonnes of new structural steel, and is a braced steel frame supported on eight existing columns and two new columns positioned between two post-tensioned transfer beams.”

“Altogether, 17,855 individual steel components, representing 205 tonnes of fabricated steelwork, were used on the project, with most components installed via helicopter,” the article says.

Fabricated metalwork is becoming increasingly popular as innovative and modern building designs are developed. This provides a rewarding industry for fabricators to tap into.