Most people think that art pieces are beautiful to look at but serve little function other than for aesthetic appreciation. However, architects the world over have proven that form and function need not be mutually exclusive. Just look at the Strömkajen ferry terminals in Sweden, which a recent article from Australia’s Architecture & Design discusses:
“Marge Arkitekter has used a brass alloy, commonly used to make medals, to form a textured patchwork on the exterior walls of a ferry terminal in Stockholm.
The three Strömkajen terminal buildings are located on a waterfront promenade on the Blasieholmen peninsula, adjacent to landmarks such as Grand Hotel, National Art Gallery and the Royal Palace…
Each terminal building is formed by a series of boxy, cone-inspired structures, which open up at one end to frame views of the water and landmarks…
Squares of malleable Tombak brass have been used to clad the exterior, producing a burnished patchwork that wraps around the faceted forms of the terminal buildings.
Glazed recessed panels reflect views of the waterfront promenade and offer people a place to shelter from wind and rain.”
Indeed, brass has become one of the most popular architectural metals in the world, and many projects have utilized this copper-and-zinc alloy to create stunning but functional structures. For instance, Make Architects refurbished the rear elevation of a Central London apartment building by cladding it in gold-colored brass. This golden façade is designed to reflect sunlight onto adjacent buildings, brightening the day of the workers within.
Another famed architectural project that utilizes brass is the Platform of Arts and Creativity building in Guimarães, Portugal. It was developed in tandem with UNESCO, and the brass façade was chosen to symbolize the city’s modernity. For its exquisite design, the building won the 2013 European Copper in Architecture Awards.
Of course, architectural firms and clients in North America who want to use brass in their projects need a reliable supplier of this alloy. Thankfully, there are companies like Rotax Metals that stock and deliver brass metal sheets to both America and Canada.
With its unique look and versatility, brass continues to be a favorite building material among architects here and abroad. By partnering with a trusted dealer who can provide a variety of brass products—be it a high-quality brass angle, sheets, or tubing—you can create structures that astound the senses without sacrificing functionality.
(Source: Brass squares create multi-tonal façade on Stockholm ferry terminal, Architecture & Design, July 14, 2014)