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Natural Finishes and Modern Designs with Coiled Wire Fabric

The design trend for interiors and exteriors continues to move toward neutral, more subtle tones that deviate from the traditional wheel of primary and secondary colors. Their popularity is prevalent in both commercial and residential markets, and the materials incorporated range from metal cladding and siding to paint and appliances. It’s no different for projects utilizing unique materials like coiled wire fabric, which can be specified for a wide range of applications including exterior sunshades, window treatments, partitions, security gates, and an array of interior design purposes.

In all market segments, architects and designers are taking advantage of natural metals for a wide variety of functions and applications. When specifying coiled wire fabric, architects have virtually unlimited colors and styles to choose from. But for those looking to achieve earthy or neutral tones, or a sleek aesthetic that can only be achieved using silver, gold, bronze, and copper styles, natural wires and finishes are an excellent choice.

Industry-leaders, like Cascade Architectural (Tualatin, Ore.), have been developing and innovating coiled wire fabric materials and their accompanying attachment systems since 1987. Cascade has shifted the wire mesh industry by providing cost-effective architectural solutions that meet the functional demands of projects with customizable components that define aesthetics and fuel imaginations.

At a modern Hawaiian beach house, the team at Walker Warner Architects utilized a copper-clad Fabricoil® screen for sun control and rainwater retention. The top of the curtain is attached to the edge of the sloped roof where rainwater flows into a basin below, providing a dazzling shimmer and almost glass-like appearance. In addition, the coiled wire curtain is free-hanging and reacts to wind with a calming, gentle sway—the perfect element for outdoor relaxation on a sun-filled day with a light breeze.

Design-wise, this unique exterior component fits perfectly into the space and works to add life to the home. It blends well with the existing brown and beige colors while maintaining its own distinct qualities. Inherently, coiled wire fabric stands out against some of the more traditional materials used in architecture and design today.

"When we think of sun control and rainwater retention, we’re always searching for products that complement our palette of exterior materials,” says Thomas Clapper, senior associate, LEED AP, Architect at Walker Warner Architects. “The copper-clad Fabricoil is a natural choice for us. Whether we use it as a 20-foot long rainwater diverter or a movable panel to cut the harsh sunlight, we’re always delighted by the results.”

Coiled wire fabric can be manufactured with a variety of natural metal wires, including varieties of steel, aluminum, brass, copper, or stainless steel. With any of these materials, architects and designers have their choice of gauge, weave size, and fullness. At Cascade Architectural, a collection of engineered attachment systems takes this customization even further by offering both operable and fixed track attachments. These systems allow for the material to flow freely like the Hawaiian beach home, or they can come equipped with top and bottom tracks to pull the fabric taut.

From first inquiry to final installation support, companies like Cascade Architectural provide guidance to help bring your design visions to life. Whether you’re seeking an exterior sunshade, interior light-diffusing ceiling treatment, or the more uncommon rainwater retention curtain, Cascade is dedicated to assisting you through each phase of your project.

Originally published by Architectural Record (

Published on
June 12, 2019