The world is filled with portal frame buildings, from The Gherkin in London to The Empire State Building in New York City. Then there are those iconic structures we all instantly recognise, including the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Chrysler Building.
What they all rely on is the strength and versatility of steel. Of course, not all are as straightforward as the ones we’ve mentioned. Let’s take a look at some of the more unusual portal frame buildings there are to be found.
Retirement village in Worcestershire
An entire retirement village, comprising apartments, assisted living suites and a care home, is being built in Worcestershire, using portal frame buildings. The village will also include a wellness spa, library, cafe, restaurant and bar. The whole place will incorporate seven different floor levels and a wide variety of room configurations – and steel provides the necessary versatility to get the job done. See more on NewSteelConstruction.com
Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre in Glenrothes
This sports and leisure centre incorporates a swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room, spaces for fitness classes, racquet sports, football, and more, all on one site, in a custom-built complex of portal frame buildings. You can even hold kids’ birthday parties there, including in the pool or a bouncy castle! Learn more on fifeleisure.org.uk
Phoenix International Media Centre in Beijing
This is an amazing looking steel building – a steel torus formed from a latticework of steel and clad in 3,800 glass panels. It houses a TV station, offices, cafe and more. The TV station’s logo is a pair of intertwined phoenixes; the architects interpreted that as complementary yin-yang figures, then took things a stage further to create this stunning design. Learn more in this article on architectmagazine.com
2018 MPavilion in Melbourne, Australia
The 2018 MPavilion is the fifth in an ongoing series of architecture commissions for a pavilion that will be used as ‘an innovative civic space, a cultural laboratory and a place for people to meet, learn and engage with ideas and design …’. The winning design for 2018 comprises three sets of tiered seating shaded by latticed, timber panels, and the whole structure is supported by a steel portal frame. From October 2018 to February 2019, it will be the focus of a series of cultural events, lively talks, performances, workshops, and more. Learn more in this article on architectmagazine.com
Dog and sheep buildings in Tirau, New Zealand
And finally, a look at New Zealand’s dog and sheep buildings. The sheep was originally a barn, built from a kit, while the dog was custom-built, and these incredible buildings provide the most creative use of corrugated iron we’ve ever seen! While the sheep houses a wool shop, the dog is a visitor centre – and that is unusual.