Steel is an underutilised and overlooked design material, particularly when it comes to building homes. It’s humble, it’s simple but it’s also strong and attractive.
The Underrated Material
One of the most compelling reasons to work with steel when designing a house is its physical properties. It’s resistant to termites, can’t be water damaged and doesn’t become misshapen with heat. We also galvanise our steel, which means it’s completely resistant to rust.
Steel is also stronger than wood, completely recyclable and it’s resistant to fires. Steel framed homes make sense.
Steel is traditionally used for strong, simple structures that last a long time and do their job well. But it can also be used for complex buildings, which has pushed the form to new heights. It revolutionised architecture when it enables the building of high-rises, but it also has a place for smaller homes.
The building above is a bed and breakfast in Mt Buffalo. The simplicity and humility of the building suits the environment perfectly.
Steel can be combined with other materials, as seen in this home with wooden cladding.
It can also be pared-back to a low-insulation building to encourage a greenhouse warmth that allows plants and vegetables to flourish inside.
If you’re looking to create a unique home, with a memorable but humble personality, a habitable steel frame is the right decision for you.
The Craziest Building We’ve Built
After we hand over a building to a client, they usually go on to make additions and put in the finishing touches that complete the space and bring their vision to life.
There are usually a few weeks to a few months between the completion of our work and the point at which the space is entirely ready for use. It’s always interesting to see what has been done with the space.
For this particular project, we knew we were in for a surprise. The building itself was very interesting; we left spaces for windows that were going to be low to the ground and asymmetrically set out. The space was long and narrow, with a bed and breakfast to go in one end and an animal pen at the other. We were intrigued.
By the time we arranged to visit the space, it had been completely reinvented. A nursery had been installed in the middle section, guest lodgings at one end and a resident llama at the other. It also became the space for cooking workshops and classes.
The wooden interior panelling looked amazing and the entire place really came together fantastically. This project had involved designers, architects, our engineers and our construction workers. And all the different moving components came together to perfectly realise the client’s vision. It’s a wonderful space that we’re proud to have built.
8 Of The Most Beautiful, Decadent Homes Ever Built
This enormous home is right in Mumbai and it cost well over 1 billion dollars to build.
The home is owned by the fifth most wealthy person on the planet. The interior looks like a hotel – decked out with the most expensive decor imaginable.
2. Fleur De Lys, Beverly Hills.
This ludicrously expensive home in California sold for over $100 million. Mariah Carey was interested in buying the property.
Despite it’s traditionalist French design, the building was only constructed in 2002 – it’s just made to look historical.
3. Dar al-Hajar, Yemen.
This amazing rock-cut residence was built for then-leader of Yemen in the 1930s as a summer retreat.
The amazing building is not a tourist attraction, offering amazing views.
4. Largest Wooden Home in the world, Russia.
This enormous wooden home was never intended to be so huge or unusual. Built by a Russian gangster, the building got larger as the home-owners ambitions increased.
It was eventually extensively damaged by fire while the owner was in prison.
5. 1009 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
In a city where closet-sized apartments go for millions, this huge building seems almost unfair.
Worth $80 million, the cavernous interiors are grand but plain.
6. Fallingwater House, Pennsylvania.
Perhaps the most famous house ever built in America, this originally cost $155,000 (it was built in 1964).
Since then, it has become a landmark and a public museum. It’s essentially priceless. Many of the architects other buildings sell for around the $1 million mark, but this would likely sell for more than $100 million.
7. Beach House, The Dominican Republic.
This luxurious, expansive house has an enormous shallow pool (it’s not trick photography – it’s huge).
It can be rented for $5,000 a day.
8. Church Home, The Netherlands.
With a breath-taking exterior and interior, this amazing conversion creates a very memorable home in the Netherlands.
Honourable mention: A Louis Vitton House.
This not-so-glamorous house seems to be the work of someone with a passion for fashion and some spare time (and paint) on their hands.
Not exactly luxury, but it’s trying.
Download: Custom-designed home buildings.