New and Innovative Materials for an Architectural Project
For some, building materials are beginning to feel a little old-hat. We see the same shapes, same color use, and same layouts that we’ve seen for the last thirty years: and yet we want something new. There are countless ways to invite new materials into your architectural work, from varied shapes and forms to new textures.
If you’re curious about what more there is out there, these are some of the best innovative or new materials any architect should put to use in their work.
Mixing Vintage And New
Whether you’re updating a building constructed in the 1950s or building something entirely new from scratch: it’s popular to change things up and invite change. This could mean the gravity dampers for the kitchens in a restaurant being made out of ionized steel to be shiny and colorful. Ionized steel is still strong and resistant to rot or breaking but gives a space a new and fresh look with pops of color that would be hard to replicate.
Ionized steel should be used sparingly, though, since overusing it can come off as tasteless. Instead, consider using it to break up spaces. For example, if you have acoustic ceiling panels that are all creamy white, you can use ionized steel in your lighting and ceiling decor to pull away from that bright white and give your eyes something to settle on.
Natural Wood As Art and Shading
Wood has always been a part of house construction: but how far can we take that outside of structure? Using natural wood as the focal point for art or room design can make a room feel like a breath of fresh air. Wood, even when cut into normal shapes, can be made into incredible sculptures that can both add attractive beauty while keeping natural light at bay so that the room doesn’t fill with a glare.
This can also be used on the exterior of buildings, creating pagodas of beautiful wood made into interesting and fun shapes. Keeping the sun and leaves at bay would help create low-maintenance parking lots that need minimal upkeep.
Speaking of natural wood, cross-laminated timber has been making a big splash in the architectural world. Getting to mix two grains like this creates something visually interesting while still allowing the wood colors to match and the texture and shape of them to avoid being too outlandish.
Although this is by far the easiest on this list to replicate at home, and it can be used in nearly any project. Whether you’re building new desks for your office or you want a new table for your living room, you can create the space you want while keeping an interesting twist of artistic freedom.
Lime Counters and Decor
Lime has been making a comeback in a big way. Cheaper than marble and more visually interesting than granite, lime gives you the chance to make your kitchens and workspaces pop. You can use it around your fireplace, for bathroom counters, and even in tile on bathroom walls of flooring. It’s extremely versatile, absolutely beautiful, and gives you a chance to make every project look a little classier and new.
Limestone can be better than many other classic countertop types because it’s heat resistant, strong against cracking or fracturing and doesn’t hold onto stains as easily as some other stone styles do. You can even replicate the look of different types of stone if you want, which will allow you to create a classically attractive kitchen without having to use expensive and fragile materials.
At first, many aren’t sure what to do with carbon fiber, but this is a fun and interesting texture to implement in nearly any project. Sleek looking from a distance, the closer you get to anything made or decorated with carbon fibers, the more clearly you can see the immense amount of beautiful details and work put into it.
This allows for this fiber to create intricate-looking rooms that are both incredibly modern yet not minimalist in the least while using a material that’s often very underutilized. In addition, adding carbon fibers to your next project will add more heat than commercial radiant floor heating systems could while surprising and exciting any clients who look at the space.
Buildings Don’t Have To Be The Same
Architecture is an art form, and many people forget that or fail to even realize it. Fortunately, it’s never too late to turn back to treating it like art! Playing with texture, getting creative with the materials, and ignoring convention to some degree can give you the ability to create spaces unlike any other. Although you’ll still need a good amount of taste in shape and design, you can make anything if you loosen your tight grip on what you think architecture should be.
Natalie Akins is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. She is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.