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What is a Gabion Wall? Baskets, Fences, Cages, & More

Learn more about what a gabion wall is, what they are used for and how to select the perfect one for your project!

 |  3 min read

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. While rock is the most popular filling option, these Wire baskets can also house recycled concrete, glass, sometimes sand or soil, and a variety of other inorganic materials.

Gabion wall at Starbucks made from McNICHOLS ECO-ROCK®
Gabion Wall at Starbucks made from McNICHOLS® Wire Mesh.

What Are Gabion Baskets Used For?

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 are used as partitions for both functional or design purposes. As an additional benefit, these gabion dividers can filter sounds to effectively create noise barriers.

Wire Mesh gabions form safety barriers at Greenwise Market entry.

In some instances, shorter and wider gabion baskets have also been utilized 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!

Amphitheater-style seating made from McNICHOLS® Wire Mesh

Where to Buy Gabion Baskets

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.

Gabion baskets are manufactured with heavy, woven intercrimp wires that are strong and flexible. The intersecting zig-zag wires grip together, but the woven construction can adjust to whatever pressures are being exerted on them—unlike welded wires which can snap.

Intercrimp wires add strength to Wire Mesh gabion systems.

Wire Mesh gabions also have a horizontal, zig-zagged wire that is alternately welded to both the front and back layers of the container. This is called a “bridge wire,” and it 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.

If you would like to learn more about McNICHOLS® Wire Mesh, you can begin by browsing our informative catalog. For additional information or to begin your gabion project, our knowledgeable associates are eager to serve you at 800.237.3820, sales@mcnichols.com, or via Live Chat at mcnichols.com!

What is a Gabion Wall? Baskets, Fences, Cages, & More
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