8 Times GKD Metal Fabric Enhanced Buildings For The Arts

May 11, 2016 | News

GKD Metal fabric lights up concert halls, encapsulates art institutes and creates a state-of-the-art solution for modern day cultural buildings. Around the world GKD metal mesh is used to create contemporary monuments to the arts. Locally and abroad, GKD metal mesh is the material of choice to design elaborate works of architecture that are pieces of art in their own right. 

Cleveland Institute of Art

The architects at Stantec chose Mediamesh as a sustainable building solution while also providing a medium to display student work and university events for the Cleveland Institute of Art. The widely popular material was used for the display on the prestigious art and design school in Cleveland, Ohio to display graphics, photos and video sequences. It’s a way to showcase student work without hindering views and daylight from the university’s interior. Mediamesh is unique for its integrated LED lighting and flexible metal fabric. For this project, a custom attachment system was created to retrofit the display to the existing structure. 

Centro Cultural Kirchner – the Blue Whale 

The unofficial name of the building, “The Blue Whale,” comes from a large central structure that is made entirely of GKD’s Escale fabric. The flexible meshwork has an open area of 50%, which is a larger open weave than many of GKD’s metal fabric materials. The architects, B4FS, utilized the design qualities of the open weave to create the interior shimmering skin to reflect blue shades from the interior walls. The Escale is credited for forming the central element of the design and provides usable space for art exhibits, a music hall and culinary entertainment. 

Beijing National Opera 

The elaborate opera house in the heart of the Beijing metropolis proves to be a complex project clad in GKD metal fabric. Ambitious French architect, Paul Andreu, entered the winning design with a vision of a giant floating canopy inspired by shellfish. Custom GKD metal fabric was used for the cladding of the interior partitions and GKD’s Baltic was used for the columns. The woven pillars were wrapped in a material with a tighter weave and an open area of only 38%, allowing for more flexibility around the 100 or so columns inside. The visually appealing custom matte gold metal fabric provided partitions between spaces of the interior. The elegant metal mesh material also reduces drafts, has acoustic properties and fireproofing values; all qualities that likely influenced the architect’s decision to specify the material.

Grand Theater des Cordeliers

When world-renowned architect, Dominique Perrault, won the competitive design proposal for the Albi Grand Theatre des Cordeiliers, he chose custom GKD metal mesh for his modern building design. Perrault aimed to create a cultural epicenter in the quaint French city by essentially designing a giant sunshade for the exterior. GKD metal fabric creates a mesmerizing exterior that is also beneficial providing a sunshading and compelling aesthetic. The open weave of the custom mesh creates a unique daylighting system while allowing the colorfully clad building underneath to shine through. 

Mumuth Music and Theater School

Architects, UNStudio, designed the musical theater with an unwavering theme around rhythm and sound. The outer skin that envelops the entire structure is made from custom Omega, an extremely versatile material. Not only does the custom Omega allow light in during the day, it also lights up at night in purples and blue, and is also a sustainable, energy-efficient material. With custom Omega GKD metal mesh specified in the design, a powerhouse material, the building competitively attracts the attention of top talent and theater patrons.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Herzberg Hall

A colossal project spanning 285,000 square feet in Kansas City, Missouri, this building has an acoustic solution for its concert hall with metal fabric. GKD Tigris material was picked for its expressive appeal as well as its functional qualities. The building façade is a series of winding surfaces, with interior matching curves. GKD was challenged to design an aesthetically stunning backdrop that was also cost-efficient for the architect, Moshe Safdie. The Tigris PC metal mesh was manufactured with absolute precision and flawless weaving to create a virtually seamless look. The backdrop behind the much-celebrated organ needed to be aesthetically pleasing and acoustically sound while appearing as a continuous panel from floor to ceiling. Tigris rigid mesh, with its open area of 65%, was likely specified for the project for its acoustic and aesthetic qualities. 

Victoria Theater and Concert Hall

The benefits of metal mesh are complimentary for the large-scale art and cultural center in Singapore. The material allows for contemporary functionality with visually pleasing attributes and acoustically friendly sound enhancers. Individually woven panels of GKD Omega 1520 make up the ceiling of the theater and the wire is coated in Venezia Gold, giving the interior a luxurious feel. Taking the design into an all-out opulent structure, the designers at Arup Ltd., London, created a freestanding spiral staircase in the foyer clad in 170 square feet of GKD Baltic mesh. 

Tonhalle Dusseldorf

GKD custom metal mesh proves once again to be the material of choice when a planetarium is reconstructed into a concert hall. The architects, Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner (HPP), created a modern feel with acoustic qualities utilizing GKD metal mesh on the interior. The material is responsible for directing the sound into the dome of the structure and creating a surround sound effect with improved reverb. GKD metal fabric plays a major role in creating the ambiance of the musical theater. 

Interestingly, despite all of the projects being cultural in nature, the materials chosen vary greatly. The metal fabrics range from rigid to flexible, tight to open weaves. Some materials were chosen for specific exterior purposes like daylighting, while others were chosen for aesthetics. Mesh has an interesting quality of also conforming to stringent interior acoustic demands, adding aesthetic value, exterior sunshading, and varying flexible and rigid attributes. All were chosen for distinct visual designs meant to stand out as cultural landmarks. Metal fabric demands a special presence for buildings intended for the arts. 

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