As mentioned in several previous articles I absolutely love watching programmes about architecture and in particular Grand Designs. This franchise began in the UK but now is popular in regions like Australia and New Zealand. Even though opinions are divided about Kevin McCloud I personally love his presenting style. The show generally follows a certain pattern which comprises several challenges including budgetary issues, flexible deadlines and sometimes poor preparation etc. However, in the episode, I watched last night Herefordshire (England) couple Ed and Rowena Waghorn fastidiously hand built a beautiful timber home for only £100,000 (approximately $140,237). To date, the building has taken over a decade and still isn’t complete. Nevertheless, the overall experience shared with their children is more valuable than money. On a much smaller scale, I try to include my 8-years son in all my design projects.

Recently I set myself the challenge of personalizing our nice but generic modern white box style home. Fortunately, in South Australia (where we reside) there is an abundance of talented craftsman like Steven Winen, who owns SA Screen Creations. This company specializes in making bespoke Cor-ten steel screens (within certain parameters) to any shape or size. These are not generic Chinese made structures found at garden centres but something entirely unique and highly distinctive.

Over the last few years, Cor-ten steel has become increasingly popular with architects and designers. As this material oxidizes (over a period of months) it develops a superficial layer of rust, which has a wonderful patina. Steve Winen’s has turned a hobby into a sustainable business with SA Screen Creations. Essentially his passion for design means he can offer all his loyal customers a tailor-made service. Even more importantly Steve is a great conceptualizer and can create really innovative solutions for clients. Intuitively he can work faithfully to a defined brief or on a totally autonomous level. This is a rare commodity and really separates Steve from many of his competitors.

On a personal level, I am a huge admirer of Steve Winen’s meticulous attention to detail and that’s why I commissioned him to make two large screens for the front of our house. As an artist, it is sometimes tempting to get involved in the overall design theme. However, I didn’t want to dilute the aesthetic by interfering too much (or indeed at all). The only guidelines I set was to achieve an industrial-like appearance. Steve responded accordingly with something pretty extraordinary that was much more refined than I anticipated. For that reason, I would unequivocally recommend his service to any architect, designer or friend that has an interesting project in mind.

For more information about SA Screen Creations and Steve Winen’s amazing work follow this link

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