Environmentally Sustainable Public Arts Building Gets Solar Protective GKD Metal Mesh Skin
In Metz, France, a historic city known for its culture, green landscapes, and architecture, a shimmering rectangular-shaped building rises from a sloping landscape. The building designed by KL Architects is known as the Chamber of Crafts. The textile skin made of GKD Lago stainless steel mesh plays a central role in the building’s eligibility for sustainable recognition according to specifications from the French low-energy building label, Batiment Basse Consommation (BBC).
The Chamber of Crafts houses a technical room on the lower level; partially embedded in the slope. A lavishly furnished large reception hall for 400 people is accessible from the street. The following two levels include an administration center and training rooms for different professional sectors such as electricians and hairdressers. There are state-of-the-art rooms for interpreters too if needed. The project exceeded a healthy budget of over $7 million and was completed in 2012.
What’s so unique about the seemingly uniform metal mesh facade, are the levered panels that fold into themselves along two rows. Otherwise the textile skin creates a seamless exterior spanning the entire length of the structure. The metal fabric veil provides solar protection while allowing unobstructed views to the surroundings. The levered panels made of Lago metal fabric, which behave as solar protection panels, can be opened up remotely on the first and second stories to reveal windows beneath. KL Architects specified the material because of the reliable regulation of solar energy input, but also due to the flawless and harmonious aesthetic of the material.
KL Architects prioritize environmental sustainability when making design decisions for any project. It is their preference to choose energy efficient solutions that contribute towards more enjoyable interior and exterior environments for employees and visitors. If the solar protection panels aren’t enough, the architects constructed over 900 square feet of solar cells onto the roof to harness energy from the sun and use it to help run the energy needs of the facility. Between the solar protection panels from GKD and the solar cells on the roof, the building is well on its way to achieving less than 80% of full normal consumption required to receive low-energy recognition.
GKD metal fabric contributes towards reducing solar energy input which leads to direct benefits for users too. It lowers the need for artificial lighting and heating/cooling and creates a pleasant indoor environment. The building overall benefits from reduced operating costs and interior comfort, allowing a reduction of 56% light transmission. The cloak of metal fabric naturally blends into any surroundings with a multi-faceted reflective quality and gives the building a clean, modern look.