Galvanized steel is often the material of choice for balconies and other external features of bulidings, due to its zero maintenance properties, which are especially suited to residential developments, social housing, communal areas and larger public spaces.
A more recent development is that of batch hot dip galvanized steel panels used as facade systems. There is a growing number of important projects, particularly in Europe, where galvanised panels have been used to create a unique facade to a variety of building types.
An outstanding example of architectural aethestics and innovative engineering in facades was unveiled in 2019 by Danish Architects COBE. Their project, the DLG Silo in Copenhagen’s North Harbour, is a former grain silo, re-purposed and clad in galvanized steel, to create luxury accommodation, retail and cultural space. It makes a commanding statement against the North Harbour skyline and is part of a regeneration masterplan that hopes to position Copenhagen as the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025.
A functional construction of the late 1950s, the Silo originally stood in a watery landscape of oil storage tanks, gas cylinders and dockside gantries. Cavernous, vertical chambers positioned behind blind concrete walls, stored tonnes of wheat, with access to freight vehicles which funnelled off grain at the base. Today however, what was previously considered a feat of pure engineering has been converted into a thing of beauty.
“The final building has been stretched in all directions in proportion to its original form, so it is hardly noticeable. The once-protruding tower is levelled off horizontally with another layer of apartments, its precast concrete panels hidden behind its shimmering, changing, galvanized steel facade…
The facade has a continuously changing crystalline urban effect that contrasts with the matt all around. Its original monumental appearance lives on. Get closer, and the variations become more profound. Patterns of perforations in the protective balcony wind shields and balustrades play a flickering game from transparency to opacity. The patina of the building’s surface glistens.”
Isabelle Priest, sub-editor, RIBAJ Magazine
We have published a free book that details the project and its journey.
Galvanized Steel Facades
View more examples of galvanized steel used for facades:
Karlsruhe Primary School
Designed by HSD architects, Lemgo primary school in Karlsruhe creates a modern addition to the existing network of schools. A facade of galvanized panels provides a vibrant, bold and contemporary aesthetic that is a throwback to the town‘s industrial heritage. Designed as a highly insulating ventilated facade, 3 mm steel plates of varying sizes form a shimmering skin.
Read more about Karlsruhe Primary School
Carmody Groarke designed this new artist workshop for artist Antony Gormley within the yard of his existing studio in London. The workshop was consciously designed to be made predominantly out of galvanized steel, in order to withstand the industrial nature of the artist’s creative process.
Read more about Artist’s Studio
Blue Mountain School
6a architects’ Blue Mountain School unfolds behind the shimmering silver façade of this corner site on Redchurch Street. In the tradition of house museums, the building is a puzzle of rooms and uses, playing host to a fashion archive, exhibition spaces, a kitchen and wine room, a perfumery, listening spaces and various room sets by international designers.
Read more about Blue Mountain School
More Steel Facades
See more examples of how hot dip galvanizing was used to protect steel facades.