Our opening article illustrates material aesthetics to their fullest extent. Torafu Architects have pared back a concrete shell to add a combination of materials – luxurious cashmere, crafted timber and galvanized steel. I have heard many descriptions of the finish that batch hot dip galvanizing affords to steel – zinc patterns, texture, honest, lively material, resonating with its industrial heritage, raw and three-dimensional to mention a few.
The aesthetic is one controlled by steel chemistry, design and product type rather than a pre-prescribed colour chart. This is what gives it its natural finish and no two bits of galvanized steel will look identical.
The process can almost be described as revealing the journey of a piece of steel during its initial production through to its final fabrication. Added to this is the subtle weathering that will occur during initial placement of galvanized steel in an external environment as it breathes and reacts to its environs.
The Aesop store takes these characteristics and cleverly blends a certain rawness that still manages to create a subtle harmony.