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Architecture Trends Q&A with Architect Ellen Perina

Architect Ellen Perina, Sydney

We like to keep ahead of architecture trends at Arrow Metal, to give you the very latest designs and styles in metal. Architecture trends influence every perforated metal pattern that we draw up and create, so who better to ask about what’s hot right now – and will be in 2022 – than registered architect and interior designer Ellen Perina?

Ellen specialises in high-end residential, commercial, mixed-use, and hospitality projects and has practised architecture for over 15 years across New South Wales, New Zealand, and Europe. Her current projects include private residences in Balmain, apartment complexes, and a major multi-use development in Paddington.

We sat down for a Q&A with Ellen about what’s happening in the architecture world, her thoughts on the use of materials like perforated metal, and the architecture trends we can expect to see in future.

Thanks for chatting with us Ellen! So, there’s obviously lots going on in the world right now – how is that influencing your design choices at the moment?

I believe that today we need to celebrate design that gives a special experience – relaxing, de-stressing, and healing – an escape from the fast-paced lifestyle we all have.

So, I would open the space to the beauty of the surrounding environment while providing the luxury of privacy. Lots of natural materials where simplicity equals sophistication.

Architects are so blessed nowadays, we have in our palette all the tools we need – the science behind visual and thermal comfort, hi-end technical solutions and building systems, plus our own artistic taste. These are the perfect ingredients for contemporary design now and into the future.

Take us through how you typically approach a project.

Whilst architecture speaks to the public, interiors work on a very different, intimate level, accompanying the owner’s personal life day by day. It should always be a smooth transition from exterior building design and its presence in our environment into the detailed and sensorial level of the interior. It needs to be interconnected and consistent, a ‘whole’.

Balmain House Interior

Custom Perforated Metal Stairs and Privacy Screening by Arrow Metal, Residential Home

What architecture trends do you see on the horizon as we move into 2022?

I think we’re going to see an even bigger focus on how we use our resources. Materials that give maximum visual and design benefits while being fully recyclable will be in favour. Durability and environmental impact will be a priority while choosing the materials for architectural projects.

Perforated metal ticks all the boxes in this context. It’s totally recyclable and in the long-term can be re-used many times with great results. It doesn’t require many resources to produce – metal sheets are thin and light – but at the same time, these panels are able to cover the biggest of facades.

Decorative perforated panels by Arrow Metal, Como Train Station Upgrade, Sydney

Perforated Metal Underpass by Arrow Metal for Como Train Station Upgrade

So, you’re a perforated metal fan?

 Absolutely. Perforated metal can totally transform the appearance of the building, creating modern and even futuristic visual effects with minimum recourses. That’s why so many architects love using it.

With a material like perforated metal, we have almost unlimited freedom to create exteriors and interiors that are not only visually striking and innovative, whilst also taking care of our planet and our resources.

Do you have a favourite style of perforated metal? Traditional perforations, linear geometric designs, or more unusual patterns?

I would say it depends on the nature of the project. Unique patterns could be considered for making an accent on material and distinguishing the design from everything that was made before with basically the same sheet of metal. This brings character and uniqueness.

The more standard and easily recognisable pattern would work perfectly when we want to make an accent on a well-balanced form and proportions of a building in general, without overloading it with any extra “eye-catchers”.

How would you typically use a material like perforated metal in architecture or interior design?

Perforation in metal can be used for so many different purposes and with such different outcomes. On one hand, it gives so much space for artist/architect self-expression and creativity.

Whilst on the other hand, it allows us to create versatile spaces with great freedom of customisation – from uplifting to meditative and everything in between – it can mesmerise, distress, recharge and rejuvenate senses and energy, spark imagination and open up our mind to new ideas.

Lindy Lee, Secret World of a Starlight Ember 2020

Lindy Lee, Secret World of a Starlight Ember, 2020

The works of Jan Hendrix Studio, Vincent Leroy, and of course, Australian artist Lindy Lee – her Moon in a Dew Drop exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney was spectacular.

I really feel the visual and sensorial potential of perforated metal is yet to be fully explored and celebrated in architecture. It’s going to be exciting to see how this develops!

Lindy Lee, Moon in a Dew Drop

Lindy Lee, Moon in a Dew Drop exhibition, Sydney, MCA

Thanks for chatting with us Ellen!

If this Q&A has sparked your creativity, browse our standard and made-to-order perforated metal panel patterns here, and take a look at our exclusive Cosmic and Deco collections. Or head to our bespoke perforated metal design page, for custom panel information and inspiration.

You can also view our latest Projects here, including the stunning gold perforated metal walkway panels we produced for Como train station multi-million dollar upgrade.

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Posted: December 1, 2021

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