Although it is not new – Eero Saarinen used it for the John Deere headquarters in Illinois in the 1960s – weathering steel has really only begun to enjoy wide popularity over the past several years. Most recently, New York-based SHoP Architects used Corten for the facade of the Barclays Center, the stadium that opened in Brooklyn late last year and the site of the MTV Video Music Awards this past week.
"What's beautiful about Corten, and why I was chomping at the bit to work with it, is because it changes with the elements, it changes over time, it changes with the weather," said Rendely. "You don't have full control over it, which is why I haven't had a lot of opportunity to work with it … people are afraid of it."
While Corten will eventually develop a stable patina, it can streak and the coloration is hardly guaranteed to be consistent, features which are essential to discuss with clients beforehand, says Rendely.