You might recall from this post that Matteo’s dad has been restoring his house. One of the things that Matteo helped him do in the long process was restoring and updating both the gates, one for pedestrians and one for cars, that lead to his yard and entrance.
They were very simple gates: an iron rectangular structure and wooden vertical planks attached to it, all coloured in the typical dark green that is used in most Italian houses.
Since the wood had been going through a lot, it was in horrible conditions, rotted at the bottom and the paint was chipping all over. The area is very humid in general and it rains a lot throughout the year, so Matteo’s dad wanted a more functional solution, something that wouldn’t need so much work in time, as opposed to the wood, that he needed to paint almost every year.
So Matteo had the idea of creating a contrast with the old stones of the house and opted for a rusty iron gate. He knew exactly what he needed: a special steel iron called cor-ten, which is special kind of steel that while corroding itself forms a stable rust-like appearance, without the need of painting or maintenance.
The first thing they needed to do was adding a couple more vertical poles to the structure of the bigger gate, in order to have more joint points and in order to prevent the thin steel foil from bending and moving too much. So Matteo removed a few wooden planks and welded two poles that resembled in measures the original frame and created thus three sections in the structure.
He then had to remove completely the paint from both structure, using both a grinder and some chemical paint remover for the areas where he couldn’t get the tool, after tearing off all the wood. He let the iron structure get rusty with the help of rain and some good watering. Once the visible parts were rusty enough he applied some transparent varnish since that was a common type of iron and of course he couldn’t leave it without protection.
Matteo and his dad bought at a local distributor a huge foil of cor-ten and had it cut to the exact measures they needed. They just worked around the dimensions in order to minimise the waste and in order to be able to buy just one foil of material.
They attached the panel with a very simple method: with the help of some clamps they held in place the foil and added some copper rivets to the corners; once all the panels had been set they could add more rivets on all four sides of each foil. They of course did the same with the two small panels for the pedestrian gate, only this was actually easier not only for the dimensions but especially since they could work on the structure attached to its hinges or laying on the ground.
Once everything was in place, it was just time to wait for the steel to make its job. Within a couple of weeks the effect was already showing, check out these before and after pictures!
And a couple of months later the results were even better (first and last pictures): stunning!