Aging with Elegance

12 Dec Aging with Elegance

This week has caught my attention that changeable materials are now being used within architecture. These materials are not consistent in their appearance and adapt to their environment over time.

The new construction by LCR Architects in abarthe-sur-Lèze, looks to harness the aging process to enhance the buildings aesthetics the longer it stands. The building has been covered in patina copper panels, giving it protection against the elements. The process of coating the copper in ferric nitrate, keeps the building as a yellow-brown, but still preserves the metallic characteristic of the unique material. It is difficult to predict what colour the building will become, as it is unique to the area. Acid rain and oxygen levels will directly effect how the building will change.

A similar concept was used by the Singapore studio, WOHA, for the Parkroyal on Pickering hotel. This hotel was covered in multiple stories of foliage. The idea not only will change the look of the building for generations, but also brings further natural beauty to an area that does not have the space to invest in plant life. Practically, I am not sure how easy the building is to maintain!

The notion of a space that develops over time is one I discussed early in the year in my article ‘Design for 2014’. With trends promoting designers that create base environments. Environments that you are able to swap in different products quickly and easily to alter your look.

Photo by Patrick Bingham-Hall –

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