The Latest Cladding Finishes Specified in Commercial Façade Design

Architectural design is ever-changing, with every new building façade design representing the spirit of its age. As we enter a new era in architectural trends, new styles have emerged focusing on sustainability, a return to nature and biophilic design, and unique, out-of-the-box designs that mark buildings as lasting monuments. Architects and building designers are now seeking cladding systems that help realise their aesthetic façade vision, featuring colours and textures that reflect this new age of design. When choosing façade materials, it is important for designers to know which colours and finishes are currently trending in the market, and learn how these can complement contemporary design visions.

A new era in commercial façade design

As new design principles take hold, designers are seeking to incorporate them into façade architecture. The building envelope gives the first impression of a design, and it is important that the outside reflects the style, aesthetic and holistic intentions of the architect and displays them proudly to passers-by.

Natural materials and natural-look finishes are having their day, alongside contemporary materials and colours for an inspiring urban landscape. These popular styles are bringing building façade design into the 2020s, where the city is combined with nature for a functional yet beautiful space.

Finishes for today’s aesthetic façades

Taking a holistic approach to design, architects combine the beauty of nature with the boldness of the metropolis. Natural and contemporary finishes are both having their day, and can be used individually or combined to create unique projects.


The classic timber aesthetic never goes out of style – and with an emphasis on biophilic design, timber-look panels and façades are more popular than ever before. Fairview’s woodgrain finishes allow designers to weave natural patterns into urban façades. Woodgrain finishes add natural hues and textures to a design, imitating classic wood colours such as antique oak, rustic pine and gum trees, as well as continental timbers such as bamboo, ascot teak and English chestnut. Fairview offers PVDF woodgrain finishes, and specialised textured powder coat finishes to bring a touch of nature to aluminium cladding.

The stunning Waters Edge Apartments in Rhodes, NSW highlight the beautiful way woodgrains can bring a natural touch to a façade. The recladded apartment block features Vitradual solid aluminium panels in Woodcreate Elegant Teak – a soft, reddish-brown woodgrain that stands out against the rest of the building while complementing its natural surroundings.


Heralding a return to classic styles but with a modern twist, terracotta tiles bring natural colours and textures to façades, as well as sustainability and longevity, in keeping with today’s sustainable design principles. Fairview’s range of terracotta tiles, Clayton, allows for a wide range of artistic styles, with a range of earthy tones to meet design specifications and create an on-trend, yet distinctly unique façade.

Sophisticated and contemporary, ISPT Casselden Place in Melbourne, VIC illustrates how the classic cladding styles and today’s design trends can perfectly intersect, creating a façade that reflects the aesthetic and environmental needs of today’s society.


Alongside natural-look finishes, metallic façades have cemented their place in today’s popular design styles. Metallic finishes offer striking visual appeal, evoking a sense of a futuristic world, of the popular industrial chic design trend, and of grandeur and style. From luxurious gold to vibrant red, to muted grey, Fairview’s metallic colours for its cladding panels bring this contemporary design must-have to a range of design applications and aesthetic styles.

The NEXTDC Sydney Data Centre highlights how metallic finishes can bring a bold design to life. Finished in bold Poppy Red, contrasting against Smoke Silver and Satin Black Metallic finishes, the façade of this computer support and service centre is eye-catching and reflects the modernity of the innovative data centre.


Fibre Cement

Inspired by natural elements, fibre cement façades provide authentic texture and colour for a building design that connects the occupants with nature and screams sustainability. Fairview’s pre-finished compressed fibre cement cladding, Genesis, leads the way in holistic sustainable design. With a durable material that can be coloured in classic or bold colours, and is available in grooved, hewn or raw textures, this fibre cement cladding offers a three-dimensional appearance that adds depth to a façade.

Raw and depth textured fibre cement panels enhanced the façade of Picton High School. The combination of styles and colours showcases how architects can experiment with form, colour and more to create a unique, landmark building – something desirable in an age of architectural evolution. The sustainable, durable façade not only provides a natural and unique aesthetic appeal, but speaks to the contemporary design principles of sustainability and durability - marking it as an on-trend façade that will also endure for years to come.


As well as appealing to nature, sustainability and modernity, today’s popular designs often take a less-is-more approach, embracing the simple beauty of solid and neutral colours. Solid white is a popular colour, inspired by concepts of purity, mental clarity, and cleansing, and has cemented itself as a highly desirable choice for façade panels. Other neutral brick finishes such as off-whites and creams give similar vibes, and can lend a soft, muted vibe to a façade for a calm atmosphere.

The healthcare industry is one area of architectural design where neutral colours are particularly popular, with designers often opting for calming, clean designs to inspire a sense of better health and wellbeing. The Clyde Health Hub in Victoria features brick slips finished in Salt, a neutral white that lends an air of tranquillity and cleanliness. The simple white allows the wooden doorframes and surrounding trees to stand out, helping the building connect with the nature around it.


Rust cladding finishes have surged in popularity in architectural design, capturing the essence of modern industrial aesthetics while exuding a distinct and aged charm. Showcasing a fusion of deep browns and vibrant oranges, rust finishes bring a unique and eye-catching texture to commercial buildings, seamlessly blending urban sophistication with rustic warmth.
Fairview’s Rust Patina is currently being installed on the Flinders West project in Melbourne's CBD, designed by Fender Katsalidis and built by Mirvac.

With biophilic and sustainable design and contemporary colours taking centre stage in today’s architectural trends, architects have the option of a range of stylish finishes to complete their design vision. From textured natural tiles to gleaming metallic designs, an on-trend façade cladding design can help cement a building as one of the memorable designs of today’s architectural age.

If you are searching for the right façade materials to bring your building design into the modern age, Fairview’s range provides a wealth of options. As leading cladding suppliers, Fairview supplies superior cladding systems that meet aesthetic, sustainability and all contemporary design requirements. With a huge variety of colours and finishes to meet any design aesthetic – from metallic panels to woodgrains, fibre cement and natural tiles, cladding selection has never been easier. Matching a finish to your design style is at your fingertips.


To help choose the right finish for your façade design, click here to request a free sample.