Expanded metal from Locker Group is addressing heat and glare problems in multi-storeyed buildings without blocking natural light.

Locker Group has the expertise to fabricate expanded metal to a variety of specifications and help protect buildings from the sun’s harsh glare. The Icon, a striking apartment building in St Kilda, Melbourne, represents one of the most innovative and creative ways of using expanded metal from Locker Group.

Artist Matthew Johnson collaborated with architects Jackson Clements Burrows (JCB) on the building, also known as the Lego Tower, with the structure made up of six artfully balanced cubes, wrapped in several different colours of Locker Group’s expanded metal. What makes the facade even more impressive is how each piece of metal changes colour slightly as the sun moves over the sky, giving the building a dynamic, playful quality.

For a long time, metal existed as a material in different shades of grey and silver. The Icon is changing that perception due to its similarity to coloured building blocks. Mr Johnson explained that the design was intended to brighten up an otherwise fairly ‘dead’ area of St Kilda, the expanded metal facade working as a signifier to the neighbourhood.

JCB director Andrew Jackson explains that the idea of the different boxes aims to create a feeling of community, with each separate colour representing a different neighbourhood. Speaking to architectureanddesign.com, he said that The Icon represented an apartment building not just as a singular entity but a collection of communities.

As The Icon proves, expanded metal provides an aesthetically pleasing facade as well as a functional solution to deal with the sun, by cutting out glare while still making the most of available natural light. It can be used above windows, entrances, walkways, or along the whole length of a structure.

For Locker Group, The Icon represents one of their most favourite uses of expanded metal in architecture.