The first recorded use of stainless steel in the Architectural Sector of the market is the roof cladding of the iconic Chrysler Building in New York City, which was completed in 1930 and remains a shining example of aesthetically pleasing and long lasting benefits which stainless steel offers to Architecture. Although it is now 86 years old, the Chrysler Building’s roof has been cleaned only three times, in 1961, 1996 and 2001, each time using standard household cleaning products. A close inspection of the roof during the two most recent cleaning expeditions revealed very little evidence of corrosion.
The American influence continued in 1956 with the completion of the Socony-Mobil Building, also in New York, which was the first building to be completely clad in stainless steel. The building recently underwent a thorough external clean by a team of window cleaners using standard household products. In the process, the surface of the stainless steel exterior was restored to as-new condition after 60 years.
Since that time, gradually at first, but in the past two decades more and more frequently, architects have become increasingly bold in their use of stainless steel to showcase their designs, resulting in some truly spectacular creations. For example, the tiny town of New Plymouth, on the southern-most tip of the south island of New Zealand has attracted unusual world-wide attention in the fields of architecture, and, of course, stainless steel, following the completion of the Len Lye Museum, which is arguably one of the most beautiful modern buildings in the world. With a highly polished facade made from 316 stainless steel, the building stands as a shining beacon for all that is attractive about the use of stainless steel in the ABC sector.
Today, in major cities from New York and London to Tokyo and Shanghai, there are countless examples of the increased use of stainless steel in new buildings. The purpose of our new brochure, Stainless Steel in Architectural Applications, is to present a few examples which illustrate this trend, and which hopefully will inspire further creativity from the hugely talented field of architecture and design, combining the environmentally friendly nature of a surface which is not only long lasting, but easy to clean, with the prospect of new shapes, sizes and surface finishes. No matter how diverse they may be in terms of scope, purpose and product use, they have one thing in common: they combine an aesthetically pleasing appearance with an extended useful service life.
The brochure is available here