written by:
October 14, 2015
Often referred to as "Cor-Ten" steel—which is actually a specific brand name—weathering steel offers a durable and industrial feel. The metal accumulates a stable layer of rust that protects against the elements: everything from moisture to brush fires. From stairwells to entire exteriors, take a look at this material's diverse uses.
Aging in Place Gary Gladwish Eagle Ridge steel exterior wide doorway zero step

Architect Gary Gladwish designed this house on Orcas Island, Washington, for his mother, Marie, an artist. With wide, open planes, the home incorporates lasting solutions for all mobility stages. The dwelling's steel exterior has patinaed to a rusty hue has a wide doorway with a pivoting door and a zero-step threshold.

 

Courtesy of 
Will Austin
Originally appeared in Architects Dream Up Truly Inviting Housing Options for Aging Population
1 / 6
Renovated ranch home with limestone walls and gabled Cor-Ten roof

This inviting home in Dallas makes the most of its wooded lot with an interior courtyard and plenty of windows. Its outer walls were dry-stacked with limestone cut from a Texas Granbury quarry, and its gabled roof was made with weathered Cor-Ten steel that emits the same maverick spirit as a Richard Serra sculpture. The freestanding fireplace just inside the courtyard was even salvaged from the old house’s living room. Clean stucco walls contrast with the grass and trees, while reclaimed wood siding complement them.

 

Courtesy of 
Charles Smith
Originally appeared in Modern Dallas Family Home
2 / 6
Architect Jorge Gracia sitting on outside custom-made Cor-Ten staircase

Six years ago, architect Jorge Gracia came to Dwell’s attention with a house he built for his family that was radically different from any other in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, where the hillsides are peppered with unplanned, makeshift houses for the poor and pastel-colored, ersatz Spanish manses for the rich. Despite Mexico’s strong modernist tradition—think of the work of Luis Barragán and Enrique Norten—Tijuana hasn’t been its beneficiary. “I’m an architect in a city with no architecture,” Gracia told Dwell in 2005. “In a place like this, you have to ask a client to have faith, and faith to me has always been the belief in something you can’t see.”

Gracia sits on his handiwork, an unusual custom-made Cor-Ten stair leading from the courtyard to the guesthouse.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Appetite for Construction
3 / 6
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony

From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there. Cor-Ten steel from a ship building yard clads the new structure, which connects via a glass “bridge” to a rebuilt stone farmhouse containing the bedrooms.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in This Farmhouse is a Cor-Ten Steel-Clad Dream
4 / 6

Taking cues from the flora, fauna, and rocky cliffs of Big Sur, California, Mickey Muennig's brand of organic architecture doesn't stop with the terrain. The Treehouse, also part of the Post Ranch Inn, features Cor-ten panels.

 

Originally appeared in Coastal Commissions
5 / 6
Modern home in Sea Ranch with a Cor-Ten steel and concrete exterior

A new home at Sea Ranch, a half-century-old enclave of rugged modernist houses on the Northern California coast, captures the spirit of its surroundings. Cor-Ten steel and board-form concrete give the exterior a weathered look.

 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Modern Home Joins a Storied Site on the Pacific Ocean
6 / 6
Aging in Place Gary Gladwish Eagle Ridge steel exterior wide doorway zero step

Architect Gary Gladwish designed this house on Orcas Island, Washington, for his mother, Marie, an artist. With wide, open planes, the home incorporates lasting solutions for all mobility stages. The dwelling's steel exterior has patinaed to a rusty hue has a wide doorway with a pivoting door and a zero-step threshold.

 

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