Copper has been used for many purposes through man’s history. In our modern day, however, the use of copper has evolved as architects have discovered new ways to use this metal, both indoors and out. One recent example of cutting-edge copper design is the use of copper as an interior design accent. Copper can be chemically fashioned into different color shades to accent a home’s palette as shown above.
As interior use of copper has grown, so has exterior architectural use. In 2009, the winner of the European Copper in Architecture Awards was the Archaeology Museum of Vitoria, Spain shown below. This copper building was designed by the architectural firm of Mangado Y Asociados. The use of bronze to create an openwork design displays a contrast of styles.
Copper can also be used as an exterior surface for residential properties as seen in the Clip House from Spain shown below. This building’s exterior combines copper, concrete and glass to create a concept home composed of two separate levels attached to a flat concrete wall. The levels are covered with copper sheets that also serve as walkways, allowing residents to walk between the levels to get a view of the neighborhood.
As copper ages, it develops a patina of blue-green over the metal. A notable example of this process is the Statue of Liberty which is made of copper but has since turned entirely green. Designers are also making use of this naturally occurring process for architectural purposes. Some architects are chemically prepatinating copper to create this blue-green color themselves instead of letting the metal age. This chemically-altered surface is then used as the exterior for residential and commercial buildings as seen on the U.K. building below.
Another striking example of copper architecture is the Yapi Kredi Bank Academy Building located in Turkey seen here.
This concept building has a copper facade over two rectangular sections. These copper-covered columns contain the academy’s classrooms. This design was invented by John McAslan, an English architect.