European Artistry: The Nick Ions Story

Europe’s distant shores offer many examples of architectural techniques and practices honed over centuries—and while Europe remains thousands of kilometres away, there is a craftsman on the Sunshine Coast who brings its influence to our homes.

In this journal, Nick Ions from Ion Clad discusses his years spent studying traditional metal roofing and cladding methods and his desire to bring this unique feature to modern Australian architecture.

A Calling Found in Switzerland

Nick kickstarted his career by completing a regular roofing apprenticeship in Australia but afterwards, found himself drawn away. As he says, ‘The need for travel and expanding my horizons away from home became a strong pulling force.’ That force took Nick on a decidedly different route, but a route we’re grateful he found.

His passion for outdoor sports led him to Switzerland where snowboarding dominated his early time there. After meeting his partner, he settled into new routines in a small village. It was there that roofing found its way back into his life.

A local company—with over 200 years of experience in traditional European roofing methods—gave Nick the chance to learn this historical metalworking craft.

It was this experience that cultivated a new energy in Nick. The passion that was previously lacking for him emerged in a world of metals, roofing, and wall cladding, and it hasn’t let go.

The Crossroads of History and Progression

Metalwork wasn’t the only thing that inspired Nick while studying in the small Swiss village. What he learned from experts of the craft moved beyond a physical skillset; it shaped the way he views his entire business.

Nick’s time spent around historical, European architecture gave him a unique appreciation for the methods he was learning. By recognising the significance of this craftsmanship, Nick learned to hold the history, longevity, and future of metalwork in equal importance. As he summarises so succinctly,

‘Progression often requires understanding history.’

It’s his ability to envision each individual project that sees every home gain authenticity, authority, and architectural value under his skilled hands. Nick says, ‘Technical designs that continuously push the boundaries of sheet metal craftmanship spark my creativity and ambitions to explore endless possibilities.’

 His desire for discovery has fostered an attitude of openness and continual learning­. We’ve taken note that it’s a mindset reminiscent of other notable architects and artisans we collaborate with.

From Switzerland to the Sunshine Coast

Nick’s return to Australia, where he noticed the gap in knowledge and understanding of this trade, only served to inspire him further.

He says, ‘Seeing the potential here motivated me to focus on improving, teaching, and gaining the recognition of this craft in my country, shaping how I approach my career towards education and raising industry standards.’

This motivation spurred his unique approach of combining traditional European methods with Australian contemporary influences. Nick says,

‘The idea of taking century old craftsmanship techniques and applying them into modern architectural designs has been a main driving force in my inspiration.’

Nick says his ability to innovate and create within the craft, ‘has meant endless possibilities in the design and construction of modern architecture.’

His value for diverse perspectives gives Nick’s work a special place in our homes, surpassing just the simple addition of traditional craft. His work adds an element of timeless artistry to everything he touches.

The End is Innovation

 For Nick, the most rewarding part of craftsmanship comes from the pursuit of excellence. In every project he looks to achieve ‘technical and aesthetic perfection’. While this sets high self-expectations, Nick embraces this desire for constant improvement.

It’s this mindset, partnered with his unique skillset, that continue to impress.

 Nick Ions’ fusion of historical European metalwork and modern thinking bring a unique, timeless element to our Sunshine Coast homes. He’s a master craftsman as well as an industry leader, and we look forward to his continued innovation as he challenges conceptions of this impressive trade.

See our latest project with Ion Clad here, with new Ion Clad x LAWRIE coming soon with our Vesistö project, set to finish later this year.


Ionclad Projects

Robe St

Builder: Valdal Projects

Architect: Sparks Architects (See our interview with Dan here.)



Builder: LAWRIE.

Architect: Reitsma Associates (See our interview with Trevor here.)