9 Ways to Integrate Metal into a Space

We’ve been inspired by a number of great projects published on CODAworx. Specifically, we were struck by the way artists and designers were using metal in their spaces. So we combed through the hundreds of profiles on the site to bring you some of our best metal pieces and projects, best perused while listening to these.

9. Give your details some weight.

Glenn Gilmore

This door hardware by Glenn Gilmore was made for a ranch using an old steel implement wheel from the ranch. Smaller metal accents around a home can create a subtle and sophisticated look if you’re hesitant about larger pieces.

8. Create motion.

Merge is a permanent, site-specific installation at the University of Connecticut, conceived together by the artist Sharon Louden and architect Jane Weinzapfel. “I worked hand-in-hand with Jane’s vision,” says Louden.

7. Go big or go home.

Draper -- CODAworx

If you’re really trying to transform a space, a large metal piece will do it. This five-story sculpture, Draper, at Florida State University by artist Rob Ley varies from floor to floor, both unifying the space and bringing variety to each story.

6. Consider spaces you wouldn’t have otherwise… like the ceiling.

Talley Fisher -- CODAworx

This piece, by artist Talley Fisher, was created for the lobby of a medical center. Well-placed art can affect more than just the character of a room.”Two months after it was installed, a woman told us how it buoyed her spirits and gave her hope for her very sick relative,” says the artist.

5. Use it to shape light.

Ballroom Luminoso -- CODAworx

Ballroom Luminoso by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock forces the metal to create light patterns with custom-made chandeliers. “The images in the medallions draw on the community’s agricultural history, strong Hispanic heritage, and burgeoning environmental movement,” says the artists’ Public Art Project Manager, Chrissy McMillan.

4. Use metal’s depth as a material to fill a space.

Kumi Yamashita

“I was able to concentrate on creating a cohesive work which attempted to fully utilize the surrounding structure/environment within the logic of the artwork itself,” says artist Kumi YamashitaCity View sits in the office tower of Nankai Railways.

3. When in doubt, go abstract.

Kennedy Health System

This wall art was constructed from pieces that were originally parts of a saw mill blade. The wall sculpture at KennedySystem enhanced the beauty of the office without eclipsing the space.

2. Be whimsical with your metal.

Georgia Gerber -- CODAworx

Just because it’s a traditionally heavy material doesn’t mean you can’t use it in lighter, less traditional ways. This bronze sculpture, Rachel, by artist Georgia Gerber proves it.

1. Use inspiration from other eras.

Steampunk Bathroom

Metal’s been around for long enough that its gone through several distinct phases as a design tool. This Steampunk Bathroom by Andre Rothblatt uses the plumbing and lighting as functional opportunities to create a design reminiscent of the industrial era.