Framing Design: Structural Expression in Steel

Framing Design: Structural Expression in Steel

Steel construction in residential architecture is not quite as popular as timber and masonry, but it also offers numerous benefits when the budget allows. Steel beams can span terrific distances, and if used in concert with steel columns, large expanses of glass are all possible. These structural members themselves can create an aesthetic that’s thoroughly contemporary, irrespective of the wall infill.

These examples create structural steel visible — a few on the exterior, a few on the inside — for many different reasons. Let’s have a look:

Jay Hargrave Architecture

This pavilion-like house is a distinctive mix of brick, wood, glass and steel. The walls resemble destroys, and they interact with a steel framework to create a partly open glass box restricted by a large overhanging roof. The term of steel is in its most straightforward: in accord with the glass walls are all beams and columns, the latter of which also cantilever to encourage a balcony (at left) and the roof.

Dick Clark + Associates

This angled roof expands to create a sheltered patio. In both directions the steel beams supporting the roof are all exposed, themselves sitting on a slim round column which further defines the extents of the patio. A steel beam can also be part of the mix, employed as a header for a sliding door.

Studio William Hefner

In this case a set of steel beams and columns in L-shaped formations support a canopy over a sunken seating area. Placing the beams past the walkway on the left brings this route into the realm of the house, without needing to define it with ceiling or walls overhead.

Elad Gonen

Here steel beams extend past the house’s enclosure for a framework for encouraging an upper floor terrace. The columns (outside of the framework ) and paving help to specify this zone beyond the house for a transition between interior and exterior.

Webber + Studio, Architects

This courtyard house uses slender steel-tube columns to support the roof and specify a perimeter walkway which measures towards the central yard and pool. This U-shaped, colonnaded area is ideal for sitting in the shade.

Webber + Studio, Architects

In this roof over a patio, the expressed arrangement is merely two elements: a beam spans from the house to a column, resting atop a rock wall in between. The structure is rather minimal, almost precariously balancing the overhead plane.

Michael Knowles, Architect

Similar to the preceding instance is that this house with its own roof overhanging a patio. Wood joists immediately beneath the roof rest upon a perpendicular steel beam which sits on a small column. If timber were used instead of steel, then the depth of the beam would be much greater, hindering the clerestories and compressing the outside area.

Birdseye Design

Most of the previous outdoor examples utilize exposed structural steel to specify outdoor spaces. Moving inside, the exact same also prevails. In this house the structural steel which supports the walls and roof is expressed and accentuated by the choice of black paint. The intermediate beams beneath the roof (required for lateral bracing) imply a lower ceiling plane under the tall angled roof.

Robert Young Architects

In a much subtler way than the preceding case, this house uses black painted steel (2 columns and one beam) to specify smaller spaces within the living area. In the foreground is the dining and outside is fireplace and chairs.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

A curving bay is adorned with two slender columns supporting a steel beam, all painted black. These sit under floor beams running perpendicular. Note the way the beam comes with an H-shaped section, but the columns are somewhat circular. Most steel beams utilize this section because it is most efficient concerning material usage, but columns can more readily vary in their shape.

Equinox Architecture Inc. – Jim Gelfat

More three-part (two columns, 1 beam) framing occurs in this case, in which a large opening between the dining and kitchen is formed from steel consistent with the wall. Note how the detailing of the beam-column connections give an industrial appearance to an otherwise minimum interior.

Alla Kazovsky Architect

In the case on the ideal side of this photo, a steel column and beams splits a library area. This situation is exaggerated in the choice of paint colour: Bright yellow attracts attention to such members and their role in encouraging the construction and breaking down the space into smaller regions.

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