GKD USA Showcases Metal Fabric Products With New Corporate Design

April 26, 2011

Project: GKD American Headquarters

Location: Cambridge, MD

Architect: Dominique Perrault and Ziger/Snead

Completion Date: 2005

GKD Metal Fabrics Product: Delta 16, Escale 7 x 1, Lago, Omega 1500, Omega 1520, Omega 216, Square

The design of GKD-USA, Inc. corporate headquarters in rural Cambridge, MD was the result of an atypical collaboration between client and architect. While the construction of the new facility was precipitated by growth and the need for an additional workspace, the simplicity of design and use of the company’s own product resulted in a showcase of woven metal fabrics.

Internationally renowned architect, Dominique Perrault was selected for the project with Ziger/Snead as the architect of record. Perrault’s concept for the building was to create a democratic workspace that would foster a sense of community among the workforce. This was successfully accomplished by creating a cohesive workspace that did not segregate the plant from the office spaces. Without this division, employees in all capacities of the organization have the ability to easily communicate and interact with one another, which results in a more efficient workflow and a greater sense of teamwork. Every employee also has the benefit of natural light in his or her workspace through large floor-to-ceiling windows in the offices and skylights and windows in the production area. An onsite fitness facility and locker room were also incorporated to offer employees an opportunity to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Already having a familiarity with the company’s metal fabrics, Perrault enthusiastically incorporated the company’s own materials in the design of the building for aesthetics as well as function. From floor and ceiling treatments to the interior of the elevator cab, the building proudly displays its own product in very practical and pleasing applications. Even more importantly are the environmentally conscious aspects of the facility. The exterior use of sunscreens significantly reduces the company’s energy consumption while providing a comfortably controlled environment for the occupants. The practical and sustainable stainless steel material was preferred for its many green benefits. Maintaining the appearance of the product requires very little effort and it is a highly-durable, permanent choice in an increasingly disposable world.

Beyond the unique and striking visual appeal of the facility is the functionality of the workspace, which has produced measurable results. The expansion of the plant facility and addition of new equipment and increased efficiency have increased production capacity by 80%. Additionally, the company projected a metal fabric sales growth of 95% for the following year as a result of increased brand recognition and the attention to the use of stainless steel in architecture.


The GKD building was an investment in architecture with multiple objectives:

  • Construct an environmentally friendly building utilizing stainless steel products.
  • Stainless steel used on the exterior siding, sun shading, ceiling and floor treatments
  • Design a workplace that would improve efficiency
  • Use of metal fabric sunscreens reduces energy consumption
  • Floor to ceiling windows allow for natural lighting reducing energy consumption
  • Design a workplace that would improve productivity.
  • Sales offices configured so that sales teams could share office space for better communication, workflow, etc
  • Sales offices overlook production floor and offer easy access to plant personnel to better monitor project progress
  • Library area offers comfortable seating with resources and work space
  • Skylights and windows in production area
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle with onsite fitness facility and locker room
  • Production and administration share the same space – democratic
  • Create a building that would showcase great architecture and exhibit the uses of the product.
  • The best way to show the advantages of utilizing metal fabric is to create a real life example for architects to reference.
How can we help?

As your turnkey design and engineering consultants, we are here to assist you through the entire design-build process. Please tell us how to reach you and how we can assist.