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Modern Retaining Wall – Corten Steel and Gabions

March 08, 2017

 Those with a modern or contemporary architectural style want their residential landscape design and patio to match. A boulder or concrete block retaining wall might get the job done, but it won’t match the architectural style of the home. Corten steel and Gabions are great elements to introduce into the landscape to achieve that contemporary look while still serving a purpose.

What is Corten Steel?

Corten steel is a type of metal that forms a rust-like appearance on the surface from natural weathering, but the metal’s strength isn’t compromised by corrosion like other metals. Because of this feature, it is widely used in construction, and the unique rusted appearance is a bonus for those who appreciate this aesthetic.  Corten steel, also known as weathering steel has become a popular landscape material in desert landscapes, rock gardens, and modern homes.

Corten Steel Retaining Wall

What are Gabions?

Gabions are metal wire containers filled with stone. They are commonly used for erosion control and other civil engineering purposes. They’ve been adopted into designed landscapes as steps, retaining walls, terraces, and decorative posts or columns. Like corten steel, gabions have also become popular in desert landscapes, rock gardens, and modern homes.

Gabion Retaining Wall

How Can they be Used?

Both corten steel and gabions can be used for all sorts of architectural purposes, but retaining walls, terraces, and steps are a very common for residential landscapes. They aren’t necessarily less expensive, but they give a unique appearance in the landscape.

Corten steel can be wrapped around an existing wall whether it’s stone or concrete, or can be freestanding. The installation depends on the height, application, and load it would carry.

Corten Steel LandscapeCorten Steel LandscapeCorten Steel Steps

Gabions make great landscape walls both large or small. The size and construction of a gabion wall would depend on the height of the wall itself. If gabions are going to be used as a bench or step, some type of cap should be placed on top for a smooth and even surface.

Gabion Steps Gabion Modern Landscape Gabion Retaining Wall

The clean and simple design of a  gabion or corten steel retaining wall fit in perfectly with a modern home and residential landscape. Because of this contemporary appearance, these materials make great alternatives to the typical landscape retaining wall.