Craftsmanship in steel windows and steel doors restores a tradition
Almost half a century of dedication to a near-dying art has transformed Australia’s steel window and door sector to a new and creative health.
Skyrange believes hand-made steel windows and doors are the ultimate expression of beauty. Where convenience, mass production, and savings on materials and processes dictate contemporary construction attitudes, our values hold as strong as they did at our foundation in 1970.
Dedication to truth and beauty
Our clients, both commercial and residential, come to us for our dedication to truth and beauty. We take individual pride in our workmanship and our devotion to hand-made, hand-finished products that always exceed expectations.
We take the view that the building apertures must be of equal integrity to the aesthetics of the structure as a whole. Buildings designed to last generations deserve openings that grace them without compromise. We know there is no substitute for high quality, exquisitely designed and worked steel profiles, embellished by handsome brass or bronze fittings and hardware.
Our decision to revive a declining sector in 1970 came about through demand from a number of quarters. To begin with, Greek and Italian architects and builders and their post-war immigrant clients re-awakened the dream. Their yearning for window and door accessories that could sustain the memory of more graceful and gracious building styles was central to our success. But they translated the dream further, into commercial and government projects as well. The use of our products became a design signature.
Their vision inspired us then, and it drives us still.
In 1989. we received a trump card with the emergence of Montanstahl, a family-owned Swiss company specialising in high-quality hot-rolled steel profiles.
Our first 40 tonne order from Montanstahl was a leap of faith for us and them. The 1989 shipment was their first steel window profile, and after this, Montanstahl quickly became the world’s premier steel door and window profile supplier. They responded rapidly with proprietary steel rolling and straightening processes that have positioned and kept them at the top of the ladder ever since and given us a Iong-term surety of supply.
Their innovative energy and superbly engineered products helped us reclaim some of the space lost to inferior imports and substitute materials.
Soon after, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth architects involved in the 1980s and 1990s building boom recognised that in Skyrange, they had a partner who could fulfil their creative dreams. The dream continues.
From its tiny beginnings as a renaissance building services provider, Skyrange is today Australia’s champion architectural steel window and door exponent. You will see much of our best work on display on this site.
But some of our finest creations will only ever be seen by our very private clients, whose homes and properties bear our trademark products. We uphold their privacy, knowing that they and their architects, designers, and advisers equally respect our artisan’s craftwork.
If beauty, craftsmanship, and timeless quality matter for your steel windows and steel doors, call the Skyrange team on +61 3 9480 2066.
How a dedicated Melbourne company saved Australia’s steel windows and steel doors sector from extinction
By the late 1960s, in the often sad building landscape of Australia after the Second World War, steel windows and steel doors were almost lost architectural highlights.
The effects of the war and chronic shortages of building supplies had all but spelt the doom of the industry. The substitutes — largely timber frames as cheaper weatherboard housing estates sprang up around the major cities to accommodate the baby boom — swamped the market.
Scarce, expensive, and prioritised for other uses
Steel was scarce, expensive, and prioritised for other uses. Players such as Liberty Steel Products (Adelaide), Gamlin & Metes (Melbourne), J Connolly Ltd (Sydney) and Crittal Manufacturing, Alfred H. Wall (Melbourne) and MTM Industries (Launceston), all faced a bleak future as demand withered and supply contracted.
As the nation’s largest and last remaining of all the original manufacturers at the time, Boral KM faced identical difficulties, and more. Facing the imminent closure of their Belgian steel supplier, they opted to close in the early 1980s. Boral KM’s demise all but spelt the demise of the entire steel window and door sector.
In 1970, Skyrange determined that the industry could and should be salvaged. It began a series of acquisitions of some of the main operators. We also gauged market conditions carefully and established product lines matching Boral KM’s Belgian profiles.
We bought the stock and plant of the Boral KM steel window operation in 1984 and re-tooled the whole business. The process gave us access to a wider range of products and increased our flexibility. That meant we could move away from standardised windows and mass fabrication into hand-crafted, custom-made products.
New designs and applications for steel
When the 1980s commercial building boom slowed, architects once again saw the chance to experiment with new and more creative designs and challenging applications. As one of the few remaining players, and with the emergence of liberating new technology like AutoCAD, Skyrange could accommodate the most demanding of requirements.
Among them, we saw requests for pivots, bi-folds, sliding options, and multi-dimensional projects, all challenges to which we successfully rose.
At the same time, we could blend traditional product designs, new and improved materials, and a vast reservoir of knowledge and skills to reposition Skyrange as the genuine leader in architectural window and door innovation and production.
The move in 2000 to purpose built premises in Preston has consolidated our leadership position in the industry and given us the platform to press on with yet more innovation.