1st Edition

Aluminium A Studio Design Guide

By Michael Stacey Copyright 2023
    240 Pages
    by RIBA Publishing

    Are you making the most of aluminium? Aluminium is one of the most flexible and durable materials to design with. With exceptional strength, durability and affordability, it provides us with more than simply the ability to select products. When understood properly, aluminium becomes something to design with. In a world where over half humankind now lives in cities there is a need to design zero carbon, attractive and durable architecture. This can only be achieved if we are more resourceful, if we achieve more with less by understanding materials well, using finite element analysis and computer aided design. Aluminium can be part of that route to affordable and durable architecture. Recycling aluminium takes only 5% of the energy required to produce primary aluminium and it can be recycled almost infinitely without any loss of properties. Combining an inspirational overview of the use of aluminium in architecture and infrastructure with a technical level of detail, this book shows how useful and versatile aluminium is – and how architects can actually design with it. This book provides access to state of the art research into the best practice in application of aluminium to architecture: from curtain walling and cladding roofing to structural considerations. It demonstrates the material’s design flexibility and how it works well with other materials. Each process will be accompanied by exemplar case studies that demonstrate the potential and application. Woven into the structure of the book are the primary benefits of aluminium: its flexiblilty, its durability, its sustainable properties and its cost-effectiveness. Whether you’re a first year student or a seasoned designer or engineer, this book provides an accessible and deep dive into the uses and benefits of aluminium.

    About the Author



    1. Light metal

    2. Aluminium pioneers

    3. Flexible: Fabrication processes

    4. Durability and finishes

    5. Light and strong

    6. Performative façades

    7. Economical, powerful and sympathetic

    8. Sustainability Index Image credits


    Professor Michael Stacey is an award-winning architect, who combines practice, teaching, research and writing, based in London at the Bartlett and Michael Stacey Architects. He is the author of a wide range of publications and books, including Component Design, 2001, Digital Fabrication, 2004, Concrete: a studio design guide, 2011, Prototyping Architecture, 2013, Aluminium and Durability, 2014, second edition 2015, Aluminium Recyclability and Recycling, 2015, Aluminium: Flexible and Light, 2016, and Aluminium: Sympathetic and Powerful, 2020.