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Stainless steel architecture

Very early in the history of mankind, architecture took on an important role not only in culture and art, but also in economics, politics and religion.

Several millennia have passed since then and, more than ever before, architecture is present in many areas of public life.

In recent decades, one particular material has become the favourite of many internationally renowned architects such as William Van Alen, Frank O. Gehry, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Daniel Libeskind, Coop Himmelblau and numerous others – it is stainless steel!

Even artists like Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Arik Levy and others have discovered stainless steel as a material and use it for their successful and impressive works.

Here we want to look at the question of what makes stainless steel so fascinating, especially in modern architecture.

Applications of stainless steel in architecture

Experts in the fields of architecture, design and stainless steel are familiar with the already legendary Chrysler Building in New York, whose roof forms a pyramid-like tapering tower crown made of stainless steel, which has been demonstrating its beauty and durability since 1930.

At the time, this spectacular building was an absolute novelty as far as the use of stainless steel sheets on roofs and facades was concerned.

Nowadays, stainless steel is an extremely popular and is increasingly used material by architects, designers and fabricators due to its outstanding properties, its high-quality aesthetics, the multitude of processing and finishing options, its affordability and, last but not least, its high recyclability and the resulting sustainability. Stainless steel surfaces offer an almost limitless choice of shape, finish, colour and design.

It is impossible to imagine modern architecture without stainless steel and the material can be found in many areas of today’s applications:

  • facade cladding
  • roof applications
  • ceiling elements
  • wall cladding
  • sun protection
  • elevators and escalators
  • door and gate cladding
  • interior fittings
  • shopfitting and furniture
  • street furniture
  • exhibition stand building
  • ship, yacht and cruise ship construction
  • staircase construction and railings
  • outdoor installations.
  • objects of art

Why stainless steel is suitable for applications on and in buildings:

The reasons why stainless steel is used so frequently are as numerous as its architectural applications:

  • aesthetic quality – visually and haptically
  • durability
  • corrosion resistance
  • chemical resistance
  • UV resistance
  • available in a wide range of grades, dimensions and thicknesses
  • very good workability when it comes to cutting, forming, welding, etc.
  • large number of treatment and finishing options for surfaces
  • affordability
  • high recyclability
  • sustainability

The types of stainless steel we use for architectural applications

mirrorINOX selects stainless steel grades AISI 430 (1.4016), AISI 304 (1.4301), AISI 316/316L (1.4401, 1.4404, 1.4435) as the basic material from selected suppliers for the production of the surfaces. We are also able to treat special grades such as Hastelloy, Duplex or even Super Duplex.

Based on these raw materials, mirrorINOX produces a diverse and comprehensive range of high-quality surfaces, in which the stainless steel undergoes, amongst others, the following processes:

  • polishing/mirror polishing
  • PVD/TiN-coating
  • nanoinox®-coating AFP/ETC (AntiFingerPrint/Easy-To-Clean)
  • bead blasting
  • grit polishing
  • vibration polishing
  • fluid forming
  • pattern rolling and embossed rolling
  • and others

Examples of our architectural and art projects

mirrorINOX as a leading manufacturer of surfaces based on stainless steel and other metals can refer to a number of projects of internationally well-known and ambitious architects, designers and artists.

The façade of the RMK headquarters in Yekaterinburg, the St. Giles Circus project in London, the Paneum in Asten, the "Octopus" in Missouri or "The Rock" in Moscow are only a few of the many outstanding examples which were designed and built applying mirrorINOX stainless steel surfaces.

You can find more projects and applications on our website at www.mirrorinox.de/en/applications.

Whether small applications of a few square metres up to building projects with several tens of thousands of square metres, whether in the nearby Bavaria, Germany or in distant Branson, USA – our know-how and great experience will help you in the selection of the material, the design and planning and, together with our partners, also happily with the construction, assembly and installation.

mirrorINOX is your partner for individual solutions with stainless steel in architecture!

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