Subtle steel mesh

Metals are not often considered subtle materials. A key trend that Materia follows is the world of lightweight materials, and here’s a project that shows how steel can play an important role.

For a home in a quiet Tokyo suburb, local architect Fumihiko Sano employed steel mesh in order to soften the edges of his crystalline design. The designer’s collective, Studio Phenomenon, added two layers of thin, stainless steel with a narrow gauge to create a visual effect.

Because the mesh is made of two layers, light affects the way the fabric looks. Moiré patterns act as visual illusions, which obscure the exact contours of the house. This effect is increased by other external factors. Even a gentle breeze causes ripples across the linear composition.

The mesh is supported by a steel frame with struts every 1m. The structural frame almost fills the 9x9m plot, with the house itself taking up approximately two-thirds of that space. The steel fabric works in a subtle fashion, as it also reflects some natural light onto the building’s façade.

Because the mesh is offset from the façade, it’s possible to walk in the area between the mesh and the building. Due to the Moiré effect of the steel fabric, the mesh adds a ‘semi-inside’ and private zone to the home.

Every movement in the steel mesh adds visual interest to the three sides of the building that it covers. In a similar gesture to the Seoul gallery by SO-IL, the mesh here also protects the home’s occupant from neighbours and passersby. They can find solace in taking in the spectacular views of nearby Mount Fuji.


Photos by Daisuke Shimokawa – Nacása & Partners.

Information via Fumihiko Sano – Studio Phenomenon.