When designing a landscape, one should keep a few key aesthetical elements in mind, such as line, form, color, texture, and scale. There’s a delicate balance when incorporating metal in a landscape, such as lush and stark, light and dark, weak and strong. The striking symbiosis of metal and foliage can highlight and enhance your space, and each kind of metal has its own benefits, function, and form to give.
Depending on the metal you choose, you can bring new life into an older landscape or invigorate an already modern area when paired with the outdoors. Let’s look at the most popular metals used in architectural designs for landscape and see how they help accentuate and show off the space with stark contrast visuals that can show off in a utilitarian and industrial way as well as blend in seamlessly throughout the space.
Lightweight and strong, zinc is a quality metal that can be used for several landscaping projects and designs. Its ability to blend with or highlight other materials such as wood and glass make zinc advantageous for use.
Zinc is great for all budgets, and it is very low maintenance. This is due to it going through natural oxidation and forming its own protective patina, which acts like a sort of armor for the metal. This also helps it be less corrosive as well.
Since the 19th century, zinc has been used as a roofing and facade cladding material due to its natural surface and changing reflections making it an extraordinarily versatile material. It can also be used for planters, gutter systems, and building ornamentation.
Copper is wildly popular in architectural design due to its aesthetic properties. The patina of copper starts out as a beautiful metallic russet color and then slowly evolves into its green patina stage. This patina serves as a protective coating, giving the material excellent corrosion resistance and durability.
Copper also has anti-microbial properties, allowing for interior designs as well as exterior. Its natural patina makes it quite favorable where design is concerned. Natural yet modern copper offers not only style but function as it is 100% recyclable while maintaining its value.
Architectural copper can be seen in facades, roofing systems, flashings and copings, rain gutters and downspouts, building expansion joints, wall cladding, domes, spires, vaults, and various other design elements.
Another popular metal for architectural purposes is stainless steel. It is lightweight, versatile, and does not corrode or rust.
Stainless steel will not form a patina, and the alloy does not succumb to heat, water, or most chemicals when exposed. It is strong, durable, and ductile. After copper, steel is one of the most recycled materials in the construction industry, making it very sustainable and eco-friendly.
There are many uses for stainless steel in landscape design. Other than polishing, it doesn’t need much maintenance, so the uses for the material in landscaping can be quite vast. Some of its uses include water features, framing for pergolas, awnings, light fixtures, patio furniture, facades, murals, feature walls, walkways, roofs and much more.
Weathering (Corten) Steel
Corten steel is a popular structural steel due to its unique burnt orange patina that happens over time or can otherwise be chemically hastened. This rust layer keeps the core safe from corrosion and is basically maintenance-free.
Another name for Corten steel is weathered steel due to its look and is very popular in architectural landscaping. It is also heat resistant and quite sustainable/eco-friendly.
Weathering steel can be used in various ways due to its longevity and look, such as retaining walls, landscape edging, fencing, gates, bollards, roofing, siding, and planter boxes, to name a few.
Aluminum has many stellar features. Some of which include its strength, corrosion resistance, ability to be 100% recycled, resistance as it combines flexibility with strength as well as the ability to be finished with many different techniques.
Because of its ability to be shaped along with being lightweight, aluminum has many uses in landscaping and design, such as edging for walkways, furniture (tables, benches, chairs, or swings), fencing, and paneling, facades, roofing, ceiling, fixtures, and more.
Quality Metals to Help Build the Design of Your Dreams
MetalTech Global is the nation’s premier distributor and fabricator of coil, sheet, and finished architectural metals products. Working with our affiliates, we are promoting the use of sustainable metal products in building.
We envision that home and commercial construction will be committed to using only durable and reusable products. MetalTech Global can help your commitment to sustainability be successful as durability, reusability, and sustainability are our areas of expertise. We work with companies like elZinc America, VMZinc, Lorin Industries, and Hussey Copper to provide the highest quality architectural products in natural metals.
Contact us today for information on architectural metals, coils, panels, metal fabrication and cutting, folding, and more. We look forward to being a part of your next successful project!