The elevation or facade is an important element to consider while designing a structure as it provides a distinct appeal to the shell of the building. The design and the subsequent material usage can reflect upon the taste, architectural style and aesthetical appeal of a structure. One can say that elevations are like trailers for an epic movie! There are ample material options that are available to the designers today to design the home elevations. Apart from design requirements, various factors determine the selection of the material palette. Some factors that can influence the choice of material are the availability of material, local context, budgetary considerations, climatic considerations, maintenance, so on and so forth. One can use various materials together to impart a distinct character and charm to the designed elevation. However, following is a list of 8 most popular materials that an architect must know while designing an impressive home elevation –
1. Raw Concrete
Concrete is a material that is usually used to cast the structural members of a structure. However, post the brutalist era, raw concrete was used to create the elevations of buildings, which is a popular practice even now. Concrete in its varied forms is a popular choice of many designers and homeowners to create interesting accents in their elevation aesthetics in addition to interior accents. The advantage of concrete is that it is highly durable, versatile and goes well with most materials (wood, glass, steel, etc.). Concrete and more so raw concrete is a preferred choice of material for many contemporary designers.
An interesting product of choice in this cadre is fibre cement boards, that can be easily clad on the external or internal surface.
Bricks are a timeless choice of material that has been a popular material to build impressive home elevations. Laurie Baker was a pioneer who designed remarkable elevations in brick with various experimentations in laying patterns. These days with parametric design in the picture, designers are coming up with incredible façade designs made out of brick. Exposed clay brick elevations have an elegance and a charm like no other material. These are easy to maintain and highly durable. Moreover, the material complements an array of styles and contexts. In scenarios where exposing the brick is out of the question, one can opt for faux brick tiles. This is and will remain a popular choice for constructing home elevations owing to the warm and rustic feel that it imparts to a structure.
Read, Characteristics Of Modern Architecture, People Love to imbibe modern architectural characteristics in your home.
Various metals have graduated to be a popular choice of materials for not only commercial elevations but residential elevations as well. Metals such as treated steel, zinc, aluminium, copper, brass, corten steel, etc. are paving their path into residential elevation design. The metals used in various forms – sheets or plates, beads, etc. can impart a sophisticated look to the home elevation. With the industrial intervention, metal cladding is made available in a palette of colours and finishes (mirror, gloss, matte, textured, etc.) too.
People have started opting for metals as they are durable, fire-resistant, sleek, low maintenance and strong. Moreover, with time metals such as copper, brass, zinc and corten steel develops a beautiful patina owing to oxidation and weathering processes. The patina developed over a period adds a degree of charm and exclusivity to the elevation.
Tiles with the advantage of availability across varied colours, patterns, shapes and sizes can be one of the popular materials to use for home elevation. The benefit of ceramic tiles is that they require the least maintenance and offer high durability. This is a material that has the potential to produce exceptional home elevations. Tiles present ample variations to experiment with to achieve the desired aesthetics. With 3D tiles and digital printing on tiles, the possibilities are rather endless, one can literally produce the envisioned. This is a material that an architect or a designer working with elevations just cannot do without in contemporary times.
Paint is one of the most popular materials used in home elevation. The paint can be applied in desired combinations and finishes on the plastered walls to create the desired look for a home elevation. The key is choosing a good quality paint that is produced for exterior use. The advantage of opting for a painted surface is that there is a myriad of options of colours and textures available in the market.
Stone has been a popular choice of material for creating intriguing elevations through history into modern times. The material not only adds aesthetical appeal to the structure but is also eco-friendly. This is one material that is apt for versatility with design language and style. One can achieve an array of finishes from unpolished to highly dressed. Some commonly used stones are granite, sandstone, travertine and marble. Stone is a material that cannot be left in the material vocabulary of an architect as it is a natural material that can impart elegant tactile and aesthetic appeal to the structure.
However, it is a wise decision to use stones in locations it is locally available (keeping the sustainability criteria in mind) or makes use of stone veneers.
Read 8 Most Known Materials Used in Modern Architecture, to know more about modern materials.
Glass is one material that is a preferred material of choice for many commercial structures, but with the innovations in glass technologies, it has carved a niche in residential elevations as well. Glass in its innovative forms such as smart glass can help in adopting a transparent look to the space at the same time allows an appropriate amount of light into the home. They have evolved from being used for just the fenestrations to being structural elements in a house.
8. Wood Plastic Composite (WPC)
While wood is a timeless natural material, it has its limitations and is certainly a limited resource. To attain the appeal of wood and yet be wise about its usage, wood plastic composites (WPCs) are an innovative alternative for wood. The composite is made using wood fibre and thermoplastics. WPC is gradually carving its niche and becoming a popular material of choice for an array of construction applications. The material beautifully translates the wooden aesthetics and is rather tenacious due to its composition, thus providing a durable option to counter the harsh environmental conditions. The material helps in achieving low maintenance elevations with an extended life span. This material complements an array of other materials thus expanding the design possibilities.
The elevation of a home sets the first impression for your entire home and to a certain extent gives an insight into the taste of the occupants. Elevations today span from being minimalistic to extravagant. The choice of materials, to a great extent help in defining the character of a house. To get one started, the aforementioned are the 8 most popular materials for home elevation that every architect must know about. Over the years façade or elevation design has developed as a niche in architecture that some architects particularly like to work on. While there are a lot of materials that one can use for home elevations, these are a few materials according to us that the architects should have in their material vocabulary. After all, an elevation design comes to fruition with the application of the right materials in addition to a designer’s vision.
Please feel free to post your suggestions!
Lastly, take a read to the 12 Modern Building Materials Every Architect Must Know!
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Article Category Architecture
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