Steel ushered in the Industrial Age, helped hundreds of working men and women get accustomed to the 9-5 workday, and is deeply embedded in the roots of American infrastructure.(more…)
Perched on cliffy terrain above Lake Ransom Canyon in Lubbock, Texas, it could be prehistoric; it could be alien. But based on the preferences of its former owner, designer, and builder all wrapped up in one, it’s likely an homage to Antoni Gaudi, the Spanish architect who built but never finished Sagrada Familia.
Like Gaudi’s whimsical church, the Steel House was never finished, and you can see in its odd curves, its arched interior spaces, its grand scale, the influence the Spaniard had. If you’ve never seen Gaudi’s work, you’ll be alright. Just think Star Wars; envision a rust colored behemoth that is somewhere between Bantha and stegosaur. And that’s just on the outside! The interior is something akin to a hobbit’s warren.
The Artist, the Art, and Not Much Else
The Steel House is the creation of Robert Bruno, who worked on the project for over 30 years before he died of cancer at the age of 64 and left the house unfinished. Bruno constructed the 2,200 square-foot space almost entirely on his own as he hung from a crane he built especially for the project with a blowtorch in hand to weld together the steel sheets that form its shell.
Bruno was a sculptor rather than a trained architect, and the space speaks of someone who is less concerned with habitable space than with an artistic vision. Huge curved buttresses swoop in and out of each other opening on stained glass or on eye-shaped windows that overlook the lake. A staircase reminiscent of the Hogwarts shifting staircase seems to have come together at odd angles and in uneven rises.
Because it was left unfinished, there are large gaps between levels and the huge hollow legs, where Bruno planned to build a library, stand empty. But this is truly a steel marvel. To enter, you cross a steel bridge of sorts, holding on to a twining steel guard rail. Inside, shifting floors of steel and rolling walls lead to windows that are laced in asymmetric patterns of steel.
Art for Art’s Sake?
The irony of this unfinished architectural wonder is that there may never have been a plan to complete it. Bruno was less concerned with finishing than he was with creating “something that has some aesthetic value.”
He was known to undo months of hard work because it no longer suited his artistic vision. Perhaps, its best that the structure stands incomplete as another of Bruno’s whimsys had been to plaster the walls with the casts of naked women, a fusion between the soft body and hard steel.
The Steel House is owned now by a former employee of Bruno’s, who, once again, in a moment of whimsy, bequeathed the house to the worker. It is open for tours, so if you find yourself in Lubbock and want to see a visionary use of steel, stop in to explore what feels, at times, like you’re wandering through an artist’s mind.
You may have heard the story of sabots, the solid wooden shoes carved by peasants and used to protect the feet while farming (think Dutch clogs), while working around livestock, and, yes, while working in textile mills. The story goes, that disgruntled workers threw their sabots into the looms and, voila, the term “sabotage” was born.(more…)
How exactly does steel roofing work better in extreme climates?
Take a walk through your average American neighborhood and you’ll find a wide variety of roofs. Some homeowners prefer the simplicity of asphalt composite shingles and others prefer the weighty richness of slate. Some like clay and some use concrete. However, you won’t find much metal roofing. Understandably, this can lead the average homeowner to conclude that metal roofing is a poor choice for residential purposes.(more…)
Nucor will be building the first wind-powered US steel mill plant, expected to open in Sedalia, Missouri. This plant is part of a partnership between Nucor and Evergy through a 75-megawatt power purchase agreement.(more…)
All homeowners should know the safety practices of using natural gas appliances in their homes. Carbon monoxide detectors are essential, and fire alarms are necessary to reduce the chances of a house fire.(more…)
The steel industry is essential for industries all over the world and the health and vitality of human life and nature. Metal fabrication is the process of building machines and structures from raw materials.(more…)
Today, the steel industry in the United States reflects the impacts of ongoing technological change. The increased use of automation technology has affected the way steel plants function. Someone who worked in a steel mill during the 1970s or 1980s might have difficulty recognizing the same plant in 2019.(more…)
Citric acid is a weak acid that occurs naturally in fruits, such as lemons and limes. Alternatively, some commercially available products have citric acid in them. Weak acids act as a buffer in acid-base chemistry and work to mitigate oxidation-reduction effects.
Steel imports have been on an almost constant downtrend since President Trump imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports. However, for perhaps the first time, the month of July saw a sharp uptick.(more…)