Copper Architecture

Inspiring architects with copper’s sustainable contributions to the building construction market.

Buildings covered with copper can be admired for decades and even centuries. There are many examples of historical and contemporary buildings all over Europe with their green copper cladding, roofs and gutters proving copper to be both beautiful and durable.

Contemporary architecture benefits from copper, because it complements commonly-used materials such as brick, wood, stone and glass, and can be used for buildings with traditional or modern styles. In addition, copper architecture meets the important requirements of state-of-the-art building design, which demands recyclable and sustainable materials. In existing legislative framework, the production and use of copper products generally safeguards the environment and citizens of Europe.

Copper is a beautiful material: no other metal, except gold, has a colour; when exposed to the environment its shiny red becomes brown and then progresses to its distinctive green patina. Industry is now able to provide pre-oxidised and pre-patinated sheets to architects, who appreciate the availability of forms (solid sheet and strip, punched, meshed and more) and their ability to be easily shaped.

Copper alloying adds to the palette of colours; golden brown bronze , red-yellow brass and metallic golden copper are increasingly used by the architect for buildings, especially for roof and facades, thanks to their appealing look and their long life.

Copper, and copper alloys, give performance, durability (100+ years), a range of colours, forms and textures, all in a natural, 100% recyclable material.


Can copper alloys be used for architecture?

Yes, brass and bronze alloys are available.

Can patination of the copper be prevented?

Applying a lacquer is not recommended, particularly when large areas are considered. Lacquers will require regular maintenance over the life of the roof.

What finishes are available for copper?

Bright copper, pre-oxidised copper, pre-patinated copper or post-patinated copper. Copper surfaces can also be supplied embossed, hammered or perforated to offer a textured, or light-changing finish.

What is the minimum pitch for long strip copper roofing?

3 degrees.

What is the minimum pitch for traditional copper roofing?

1 degree, using batten rolls.

Watch a video unveiling the winner of the 2017 European Copper in Architecture Awards: Maersk Tower in Copenhagan, Denmark.



Copper Concept celebrates beautiful, contemporary copper architecture, collecting technical information and photography to provide inspiration for architects and designers.