The term “architectural mesh” did not yet exist in 1992, when architect Dominique Perrault was searching for a textile yet non-flammable material for his project at the National Library of France in Paris. He knew, however, that it was to be a metal mesh, and he discovered that GKD manufactured metal mesh for industry with a variety of qualities. Together with Perrault, GKD developed twelve different stainless steel meshes for various applications at the National Library. Internally, the mesh was often referred to as “conveyor belts under the magnifying glass”. A new business unit for GKD and a whole new architectural category had come into being: Architectural mesh.
Many international architects took this idea and interpreted it in new ways. Architects have always enjoyed bringing materials used in industry into the world of architecture, and metal mesh made the transition a in particularly convincing fashion. After all, not only the visual effect is the primary concern, but also the textile character combined with tensibility and the ability to use the material across large surfaces. GKD’s ability to weave metal mesh with widths of up to eight meters and up to 100 meters long unleashed entirely new possibilities for architects in terms of scale in or on the building.