There are plenty of reasons why Corten steel cladding is a great choice for houses. As well as its striking, rust-coloured looks, this unique metal is incredibly durable when pitted against the elements. The rust colour is a result of oxidisation, which happens when the metal is exposed to moisture. This external layer protects the metal on the inside, stopping corrosion in its tracks. And it’s thanks to all this that Corten (or weathering steel) needs virtually no upkeep, painting or treatments. Fully weathered Corten ranges in colour from pinkish brown through to vibrant orange. The result is show-stopping architecture that glows fiery bright when the sun shines on it and is sure to turn heads. Scroll down to see some of the planet’s most inspiring Corten steel house designs.
- Utrecht, Netherlands
An artist who works in steel commissioned Zecc Architecten to design Steel Craft House, this stunning home in Utrecht. Converted from a former garage, the house is clad in weathering steel, which complements the red brick of neighbouring houses. The client chose Corten because they love the way it looks, and the fact it is so low-maintenance. We couldn’t agree more.
2. Kontich, Belgium
This unique house uses Corten steel throughout its design and even incorporates it into the landscape. Minimalist Corten columns surround the property and its pool, giving it graceful privacy. The front of the property is shielded from the road by a concertina of solid and perforated Corten panels.
3. Lake Charlebois, Canada
Sitting pretty on the shores of Canada’s Lake Charlebois, this spectacular L-shaped home was designed to blend in with the breath-taking local nature. It comprises two parts: the main Corten-clad area and a single-storey section crafted in black-dyed cedar. Those huge windows let plenty of fabulous light inside.
4. Ancram, New York, USA
Here’s a house that’s a real work of art. Located in upstate New York, the Tsai Residence was designed in collaboration between esteemed artist Ai Wewei and Swiss architects HHF. The whole property is impressive, but we’re highlighting the Y-shaped guest house, which (unsurprisingly) won an American Architecture award. Once again, weathering steel wins.
5. Methow Valley, Washington, USA
The gorgeous Studhorse home by Tom Kundig works in harmony with the landscape and the region’s history. Four gathered buildings represent caravans of wagons parked around a campfire on their journeys to the wild west. Corten steel was chosen because of its rich, earthy colours, which blend in beautifully with the arid surroundings.
6. Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine
The Rose House is called so because of the pinkish tinge of its weathered Corten steel walls. Built around a central swimming pool deep in a lush forest, this very special home is designed to be a true escape into nature. We love how the Corten contrasts with the surrounding pine tress, and the general feeling of tranquillity.
7. London, UK
Corten cladding isn’t just for huge, newly-built homes, as this design proves. With its excellent resistance to the elements, minimal upkeep requirements and good looks, the material is a fantastic choice for extensions or modifications to existing buildings. Just look at how this house in South London has been transformed using wonderfully-weathered Corten.
8. Chodziez, Poland
Another lakeside stunner, this amazing house in rural Poland is totally clad in Corten. We love the climbing plant bursting up one side, and the enormous windows overlooking the water. This design uses our favourite metal inside as well as out, and features Corten staircases between floors.
9. Salcombe, Devon, UK
The contrast of Corten and natural wood, the long swimming pool, those views… there’s much to love about this house. Beechwood, as it is named, is perched high above the Salcombe Estuary. Architects Ellen + Sheryn set out to create a modern home that blends in with its wooded surroundings, and that makes the most of those incredible vistas. Achievement unlocked, we say.
10. Patagonia, Chile
This magnificent family home in Chilean Patagonia is designed to withstand everything the extreme environment throws at it. If ever there was a material that could cope with wild winds and rain, it was Corten. Sheltered beneath the stilts the house stands on is an outdoor dining area, a handy thing to have when your garden is a gorgeous wilderness.