When you think of stainless steel, perhaps your mind jumps to kitchen utensils and sterile medical instruments. Does architecture come to mind? It should, because stainless steel is often used in architectural projects. There are several very famous stainless steel buildings and sculptures in the US. Here are a few of the most well-known and beloved.
Located in our very own Missouri, the Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall and wide, making it the world’s tallest arch and the tallest building in Missouri. The exterior of the arch is made entirely of stainless steel, and the arch is hollow, which allows a tram system to reach the top of the arch.
Located in New York and built in 1930, the Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world at the time of its construction. Its supporting framework, which bears the load of its bricks, is made of stainless steel. In addition, the Chrysler Building has several decorative stainless steel elements, including its spire, decorative crown, and gargoyles. The building was built in part as an architectural experiment to see how well stainless steel performed in architecture—the results were quite positive, and the building still stands as sturdily as ever today.
Empire State Building
One of the most famous buildings in America, the Empire State Building was completed shortly after the Chrysler Building, surpassing it in height. Like the Chrysler Building, the structure of the Empire State Building relies largely upon stainless steel. It also has other stainless steel elements, such as canopies and bridges on and within the building.
Officially named Cloud Gate, the Bean is located in Chicago, Illinois. The Bean was made using 168 stainless steel plates, which were assembled and polished in such a way that no seams are visible. This unique sculpture draws tourists and architects from across the globe thanks to its shiny stainless steel exterior, bean-like shape, and location in Millennium Park.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located in Los Angeles, California. The building was finished in 2003 and features an exterior of matte stainless steel. The building seats 2,265 people, has beautiful acoustics, and is home to many famous L.A. musical ensembles, most notably the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Each one of these famous stainless steel buildings and statues in the United States is impressive in its own way and deserving of admiration. Visit one of these amazing pieces of architecture the next time you’re near one, and if you yourself are an architect, draw inspiration for your next project from their stainless steel elements.