Although it might have an elaborate name, a gabion is one of the most simple yet effective hardscaping solutions. The term comes from the Italian word for “large cage,” which is an appropriate description! Typically, a gabion is a Wire Mesh container intended to hold a filler material. Rock is the most popular choice for filling, but these wire baskets can also hold recycled concrete, glass, sand, soil, and inorganic materials.
These Wire Mesh baskets come in many shapes and sizes, but one of the most common forms is a gabion wall. Rock-filled gabions often serve as retaining walls, as well as barriers against sloped ground or shoreline erosion.
In more urban settings, the structures can also function as safety bollards—protecting pedestrians and buildings against vehicular traffic. For many different applications, gabion walls serve as partitions for both functional and design purposes. As an additional benefit, these gabion dividers can filter sounds to effectively create noise barriers.
In some cases, you can utilize shorter and wider gabion baskets as seating solutions. At The Summit Rancho Bernardo, McNICHOLS® Wire Mesh gabions form cohesive amphitheater-style seating.
A final advantage of gabion structures is their aesthetic appeal. In many applications, the stacked rocks create a unique and rustic focal piece. By choosing your custom filling, you can also adapt the style to complement any design vision!
One of the greatest characteristics of gabion baskets is their potential for longevity. As long as the wire holds up, these items require little to no maintenance across even extended time spans. For this reason, it’s important to select a Wire Mesh with high-quality construction.
Manufacturers use heavy, woven intercrimp wires to create gabion baskets that are strong and flexible. The zig-zag wires interlock and adapt to pressure, unlike welded wires that can break.
Wire Mesh gabions feature a zig-zag wire welded to both the front and back layers of the container. This “bridge wire” adds additional stability to the structure and its contents.
Did you know that McNICHOLS® Wire Mesh products can also help achieve sustainability goals? Made from 95% recycled metal, Wire Mesh is ideal for green build projects. In fact, when filled with recycled or other sustainable materials, these gabions even assist with LEED certification.