CW Interiors |
Web Exclusive | September 2014

Five iconic steel buildings in the world

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, steel offers strength and affordability that you cannot get from traditional construction materials. Plus, it’s much faster to erect. And structures made of steel can withstand extreme weather conditions and even earthquakes. Steel is also resistant to rotting, cracks, and termites. Past the Eifel tower and the Empire state building, we look at 5 modern steel structures that silently propagate the material!

Completed in August 2009, this mosque was built out of 6000 tonnes of reinforced stainless steel which makes up 70% of its structure. Commonly known as the Steel Mosque, the architecture of the building employs a light, airy and transparent design concept that relies on natural ventilation and an air-cooling technology called Gas District Cooling to ensure that the air within the building stays cool even without the use of fans or air conditioners. Lattice screens made from stainless steel surround its main prayer hall in place of walls, allowing free flow of air. Thirteen-metre glass panels imported from Germany, on which verses from the Holy Quran are engraved, adorn its interior, giving the impression of floating verses.

Unlike most mosques in the country, Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin didn’t borrow design ideas from the Middle East, but instead adopts a combination of Chinese and German architectural styles. And unlike most mosques, it doesn’t come with a minaret.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in Spain is the most famous example of one of Frank O Gehrys steel buildings. This striking building was open in 1997 and was designed in the style of Deconstructivism. Like the majority of Gehrys buildings, it is composed principally of steel and consists of radically sculpted, organic contours.
Located in Hanover in Germany, this is one of Gehrys most striking steel buildings due to an unusual twist on its outer façade. Gehry Tower is a nine story building which is constructed predominantly from stainless steel and it has been praised for its economical use of space.
The Beijing National Stadium was built for the 2008 Olympic Games in China. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the stadium is nicknamed the Birds Nest due to the web of twisting steel sections that form its exterior. The stadium has a gross volume of three million cubic metres and is considered to be the worlds largest enclosed space. It is also the worlds largest steel structure with 26km of unwrapped steel used.
Designed by Pritzer Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the museum features a striking façade of pleated stainless steel and glass, signaling the museum and the universitys dynamic vision. Its outer skin echoes these different directions and orientations - giving the building an ever-changing appearance that arouses curiosity yet never quite reveals its content. This open character underlines the museums function as a cultural hub for the community.
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