Outdoor metal coatings are increasingly popular in modern architecture. The facades are embellished with captivating aesthetic coverings that are not lacking in functionality. Precisely in a perfect combination of aesthetic criteria and practical values lies the compromise that architects and designers must follow in the design of outdoor metal coatings.
Metals are among the most used materials for facade cladding, due to their ability to protect and create pleasant lighting effects due to the mutability of the natural light.
Let’s find out together what are the most used materials and the advantages that the metals on the facade can bring to the building both to functionality and design.
The metals used in construction are mainly alloys, since the metal in its pure state does not have the suitable characteristics. Alloys are generally made up of the mixture of two or more metals, and any other non metallic elements such as cast iron and steel which are also composed of carbon (which is not a metal).
Steel, aluminum, bronze, copper and zinc cover the facades of modern buildings that stand out for their exclusive design.
These metals have common characteristics and are suitable for different types of processing. Therefore we can say that the skill of architects and designers lies in choosing metals based on their peculiarities, exploiting their strengths to enhance the exteriors for which the coatings are intended.
To coat the facades, we tend to use mainly thin sheets of different thicknesses, which can vary between 5 and 8 tenths of a millimeter. It is essential that the surface on which they have to be applied is uniform to prevent the metal sheets from becoming uneven.
When the underlying surface is not perfectly homogeneous, it is advisable to use slabs over one millimeter thick in order to avoid wavings.
In some contexts, undulation can be an aesthetic requirement that allows unexpected plays of light and reflection effects based on sunlight.
The greater thickness is also a solution to withstand corrosion caused by atmospheric agents. In characteristic conditions, such as buildings exposed to winds and salt water it is preferable to use metal sheets even more than one millimeter thick.
Amazing is the effect of natural lighting throughout the day, which makes the color on the facade iridescent, passing from the bright reds generated by the delicate light of dawn, to the golden of midday, to reach the blue sky in the last hours of the day.
These factors must be taken into consideration by designers and architects. They, in addition to the aesthetics and functionality, must also have a certain foresight in ensuring a good durability to the facade.
The benefits of outside metal coatings are many.
Let’s see them one by one:
A metal clad facade is much more than an artistic and design choice; it is a work destined to last for decades thanks to the peculiarity of the material of resisting the action of time. As we anticipated, by identifying the right thickness, the architect is able to ensure a long life for the exteriors, making them apparently resistant to the action of the bad weather.
This makes metal facade cladding particularly suitable. For these reasons they do not even require great maintenance. Indeed, oxidation changes over the years, renewing themselves and acquiring an ever new beauty. We could compare the oxidation process to a kind of self-repair, which allows the metal to constantly renew itself.
It is easy to say that such a flexible material is highly appreciated by designers who can work with a great creative freedom. With metal coatings it is possible to obtain multiple effects ranging from straight lines to curves, up to three-dimensional.
The sensibility of metal to interact with light and with atmospheric agents becomes a further element in favor of creativity. The architect is indeed aware of the change over time and day and knows that his creation is destined to live many lives, in a completely natural way: an added value for a planned work.
The external metal outdoor coatings are also an excellent solution to create ventilated facades capable of ensuring excellent control of the temperatures inside the building. The cladding hides the gap created between it and the insulation, transforming a functional element into a creative flair.
Outdoor metal cladding design is one of the activities that most involves construction companies and extends to firms operating in the window and door sector, as in the case of Capoferri which boasts several facade coating works.
In the hands of the Capoferri’s production, metal shows its qualities of ductility and malleability to become a decorative and functional element.
An example of this is a project created for Fosters & Partners at Expo Milano 2015. It is the United Arab Emirates Pavilion where visitors enter a sort of canyon delimited by 12-meter-high wavy walls at the center of which is an immense cylinder. The latter is coated by a special alloy particularly suitable for architectural coatings. The eye-catching yellow-gold color is emphasized by Nordic gold shingles, capable of resisting even the action of time and atmospheric agents.
The outside metal coatings can also be very minimal, as for windows made by Capoferri in a private residence in Padenghe sul Garda. Doors and windows have a simple outdoor coating in natural copper, which when touched by sunlight illuminates the facade.
Equally discreet are the oxidized bronze profiles of the Presidential Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia.There are many possibilities offered by metal to cover facades. Ideas and practical choices come together to create perfect solutions for customers and their living comfort.
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