Tough Love: 9 Corten Steel Outdoor Pieces
March 16, 2014 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Bring your love of industry-chic to any outdoor space with the addition of Corten Steel. It looks rough and rugged and… totally fabulous. As time goes on, the weathering only adds character, making each piece unique.
Yes, the steel looks like it’s rusting, but that’s on purpose. Corten Steel was developed to eliminate the need for painting, and engineered to form a stable rust-like appearance (which is a protective layer) if exposed to the weather for several years. The layer protecting the surface develops and regenerates continuously when subjected to the influence of the weather.
In other words, what looks like rust is actually the protector of the steel.
But enough about the technicalities. I’ve come across some wonderful examples of the beauty and potential of Corten Steel for outdoor furniture and fireplaces.
1. Industrial Strength Vertical Garden
Pictured above is a monster of a vertical succulent garden structure. The contrast of the delicate, plump succulents to the heavy duty Corten Steel is striking and gorgeous.
2. Tiny and Tough: Wood Storage and Fireplace Combo
First of all, is that furniture made from rocks inside of wire? Stone, wood, wire and steel.. extremely cool.
3. The Beautiful Sinking Steel Canoe
This Corten Steel structure designed to store wood is truly a work of art. In that way, it transforms your garden into a sculpture garden, while keeping your wood supply tidy. Though shaped like a canoe, I’m certain on water it would sink.
4. Monstrous Fire Pillars
Besides being sleek and creatively shaped, I love how these fireplace structures look almost post-apocalyptic. (Come to think of it, they also resemble Arcade games!)
5. Floating Accordion Garden Steps
Amazing that these steps hold a human being without buckling. I guess that speaks to the strength of industrial steel. Regardless, this small Corten Steel staircase is almost surreal.
6. Gather the Troops, it’s Time for a Fire
At first glance, I thought this was a table. Turns out it’s a shallow Corten Steel fire pit. Because the pit is so shallow, the fire looks taller and the magical quality of the flame is enhanced.
7. Like a Moth to the Flame
Shaped differently than most fire pits, this Corten Steel structure burns just as bright. It almost looks like a fire pit for one, to enhance an evening alone enjoying a starry night.
8. Edgy Edging
Adding the texture of Corten Steel to a garden with edging really brings the space together. Plus, as the steel morphs with the elements, the plants behind it will compliment the subtle greens that develop on the surface from weathering.
9. The Steel, The Steel, The Steel is on Fire
This squat, disc-like Corten Steel fire pit is a great addition to a minimalist outdoor area. There’s no bells and whistles on this thing– and that’s what makes it so attractive. It can be so difficult to just keep things simple, even though that’s often how they look the best.