Metallic elements have been used in architecture and civil construction for hundreds of years, either as decorative elements, coverings or even to reinforce masonry structures. However, it is only in the second half of the eighteenth century that the first bridges emerge whose structure was entirely made of cast iron. A century later, iron was replaced by a more resistant and malleable alloy, still used today in architecture: steel.
Denser than concrete, the strength of steel subverts its weight and provides greater stiffness with less material – allowing for lighter and thinner structures than those made from other materials, such as wood or concrete. It is by no means the most used material in residential architecture, however, its use has made it possible to construct some interesting – and beautiful – examples of contemporary houses: