BlueScope has been bringing us its annual STEEL PROFILE® magazine since 1981, always filled with design inspiration and technical knowledge as it showcases the best in steel innovation. This year is no different – STEEL PROFILE®#133 covers a wide range of architectural projects as well as insights from some of the personalities driving innovation in the industry.
Steel is the modern material par excellence and, if there’s one thing that shines through in the latest STEEL PROFILE®, it is the sheer versatility of the material. Architects continue to come up with novel ways to design with steel on all scales. This latest magazine takes us on a tour of exactly that, with projects featuring everything from complex, major structures to intricate detailing.
The large-scale, heavyweight, structural work that we all know steel is capable of is fully on show, for example, at Monash University’s Woodside Building for Technology and Design by Grimshaw. Understated on the outside, the interior of the building is a feast of exposed structural steel. With its distinctive red hues, the steel in this case does so much more than just hold the building up – it orchestrates the full aesthetic and spatial experience of the place.
This year’s STEEL PROFILE® once again adds a level of depth with insight into the technical resolution of each project, as well as including architectural drawings. Away from the scale of Monash, however, there is also plenty of room to learn about the human side of design. In this issue, you’ll meet Daniel Moore, previously recognised in 2022 as the Australian Institute of Architect’s Emerging Architect and now running his own studio while also acting as State Manager for the Victorian Australian Institute of Architect’s Victorian chapter.
Moore talks about how steel has been an ever-present feature of his architectural career, and his innovation with the material spans an impressive range. The profile touches on a complex roof in Tasmania, for instance, before delving into some rather bespoke detailing for steel fixtures at coffeehouses in Melbourne.
Moving elsewhere around Australia, STEEL PROFILE® captures the breathtaking aesthetics of Monarto Safari Park Visitor Centre in South Australia. Far away from the inner-city coffee scene of Melbourne, this is a project that connects with the vastness of the landscape around it. Intro Architecture, with studio gram, has cleverly combined steel with rammed earth in a design that speaks to an elemental aesthetic.
Monarto is not the only project to showcase a connection to the surrounding natural environment. In Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, STEEL PROFILE® takes us to the Puffing Billy heritage railway where day-trippers have been given a new visitor centre. Here, a muted exterior façade snakes its way alongside the rail line and connects with the bushland behind to allow the old train itself to become the protagonist of the scene. It’s a project that shows how steel innovation can sometimes involve understatement as an appropriate design concept.
Meanwhile, the architects behind Puffing Billy are separately profiled in this issue. TERROIR was born in Tasmania and we get to hear directly from co-founders Scott Balmforth and Gerard Reinmuth about how they find inspiration in the forms of the Australian landscape as well as their expansion Sydney and Copenhagen.
Moving into other sectors – again indicating steel’s versatility – STEEL PROFILE® also covers educational and residential projects this year. Warren Integrated Studies Hub features a design based on biophilic principles to introduce a language of curves into the Sydney school, while Ridgewood House is a totally different project by Robinson Architects in Queensland that takes some of its cues from Sri Lankan architecture.
With such a wide range of projects across different states and sectors, as well as profiles based on personal interviews with architects, BlueScope’s STEEL PROFILE® is certain to provide knowledge and inspiration. Showcasing the latest in steel innovation, architects will be turning their attention to it for their next projects.
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