Exemplifying the versatility of Banker Wire’s architectural mesh in residential applications, designer and homeowner Jane Hope, incorporated an antique plated SZ-3 wire mesh within the design of her custom fireplace. Thoughtfully selected for its unique semi-transparent characteristics, the metal mesh compliments the honest, raw material design, creating a feature that is instantly recognized for its sleek form and striking aesthetic.
Because the fireplace is the focal point in the center of the space, Jane Hope was looking for a material that would allow the light to pass through the top portion of the unit, while maintaining a similar visual heft that the other materials in the room—wood, concrete and stone—provide. She therefore began to explore transparency using metal. “Laser cut sheets look flimsy and buckle without support over a large surface,” she explains. “I explored a design with a series of custom metal rods, but composing with multiple pieces also required more structure than I wanted. Working with metal shops can be stressful, where the designer has to specify extremely accurately, which can be a costly gamble.” That’s when her colleague designer Lee Kline suggested Banker Wire’s mesh—because it was transparent, high quality, and in sheets manufactured to size.
With support from Rieger Architectural Products—Banker Wire’s Canadian-based manufacturing representative—the homeowner specified SZ-3 to use as a surround for the top portion of the fireplace unit. This space is framed in a way to complement the simplicity of the overall design concept. Woven in steel and finished with antique brass plating, the mesh pattern utilizes Banker Wire’s exclusive embossed technology. Highly defined facets in the crimped wire reveal an alligator skin-like texture—a unique texture that is enhanced even further by the use of the secondary finish. The semi-transparent weave also pairs well with the natural linen upholstery in the space, and the antique brass picks up the bronze details of the mid-century furnishings in the room.
With a 27% open area, Banker Wire’s SZ-3 pattern visually conceals the upper components of the fireplace in a subtle manner. The pattern’s thin, strong and dense arrangement also provides structural security, which aligns with the design intent of the overall fireplace, fabricated by Anthony Concrete Design Inc. The precast, fibre-reinforced and natural-colored concrete forms an L-shape around the fireplace that allows the structure to become an organic part of the space. Paired together with the wire mesh, the end result is a stunning fireplace focal feature that exudes a luxury look and feel.
“Banker Wire is inspiring to design with in residential projects—it has heritage, because we have all experienced it in our lives in elevators and commercial projects,” says Jane. “It has authenticity, it is beautifully crafted, and delivers a luxury look and feel. There is such a wide range of patterns and metal finishes—the possibilities are endless.”