Architectural Fins: What to consider when specifying

Posted: 26th November 2019

Architectural Fins can be an integral part of a buildings fascia, however, the intricate detail and design requirements are often overlooked. There are a few key factors to consider when specifying architectural fins to ensure that both structural performance and visual appeal is achieved



There are 2 types of Architectural Fins. The first are simple profile or press brake fins. These type of fins can be bracketed back to structure or slightly more complex with multiple elements that are connected together.

The second type of architectural fins are large structural profiles with multiple components. In these cases the primary focus of the fins is for structural support. With support being the main element for large structural profile fins, these are usually built into the main structure of the building rather than attached to the facade.

Position and Function

If the main purpose of the architectural fins aren’t primarily structural the other main functions of fins are to protect the building’s facade. Whether it be from weathering elements such as wind and rain or creating a form of shade throughout certain times of the day.

An example of the position and function of Architectural Fins is at Number One Valentine Place, which features fifty aluminium fins specifically designed to offer solar shading for the building’s south facing position. You can read more about this project here.


Architectural fins can also enhance the aesthetics of a building by adding depth and perspective to one-dimensional rainscreen façade systems. You can create this effect by using multiple banks of fins, it is even possible to subtly vary their shape to create a sense of movement across the building. Another way of adding visual appeal to your façade is by using perforation. With a variety of punching designs available, perforated architectural fins add an iconic finish to the exterior façade of a building.


When selecting the material of your architectural fins you need to consider how the material can be manipulated and coloured to match your designs. Aluminium can be utilised to form an array of shapes and profiles that are either PPC coated or anodised to provide a visual aesthetic typically matching the other elements of the external façade. However, with the latest bending and folding equipment it is possible to specify a wide range of other shapes and sizes for architectural or building fins that can be developed as part of the cladding supply.

In addition to Architectural Fins, Metalline offer a range of bespoke products including window pods, cruciforms and bird beak panels to add a certain aesthetic appeal to the external envelope of a building. Internal parts of the building can also benefit from our wide range of fabricated panels and aluminium pressings to enhance areas such as stairwells and escalators.

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