Design Elements in Steel
Steel utilized as the main element in building infrastructure is common and used in most large commercial buildings and homes, but is often hidden in the interiors. Staircases, bridges, outdoor railings and many other uses are also common, but steel is less often used as a true visual, architectural element. Patio covers, tenting and shade sails are typically supported by steel mounts, but when it is incorporated into the design for outdoor shade, steel design framing can create a striking profile to the installation.
Artfully constructed steel designs can be draped with patio covers, outdoor UV screening or hung with shade sails. The fabric can be taken down in winter months, or replaced periodically at a fraction of the cost of a new roof. With or without covering, a tasteful construction in steel can enhance the exterior design of a building or home as a portal cover for climbing ivies or flower vines, or hung with planters. A deck with a steel overhang frames the area below and suggests a defined and protected space as easily as a back patio area. An extension of steel from the base of a patio cover to build planters complements the patio design. Carry the concept a bit further, and sections of steel can be used to build a terrace garden, contain raised vegetable garden beds or outdoor pathway steps. By incorporating the initial concept of steel as a visual architectural detail and expanding the use into adjacent outdoor areas, it extends the sense of the size of the area and complements the original design.