Golden metal fabric installation as transparent atrium cladding
Gold-colored metal fabric in a specially developed mesh design enhances the headquarters of Chinese Internet giant Tencent. The decorative cladding of the public atrium also serves as reliable fall guard protection. Installed above the lobby, the transparent, delicately textured architectural mesh allows an unencumbered view from the entry hall to the higher floors and vice versa. So in addition to its safety function, the GKD metal fabric supports the architectural idea of social interaction and networking at the central interface between the indoor and outdoor world. The new Tencent headquarters was designed by the renowned NBBJ architecture firm from New York, which has already planned many award-winning headquarters for high-tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or Samsung.
Natural climate control thanks to intelligent façade shell
The golden metal fabric net clads the three-story atrium on three sides and spans an area of 1,850 m². Twenty-eight fabric panels, each 16.5 m x 4 m, form the hangings that shape the space and for which GKD specially developed an innovative custom fabric. To create it, golden-anodized aluminum wires and tubes were interwoven in three-wire warp wire groups made of untreated stainless steel at alternating intervals. The various diameters of the fabric components – four-millimeter-thick wires and twelve-millimeter-thick tubes – normally lead to significant differences in tension. However, these were completely balanced out in the weaving process so that the architectural fabric reliably meets the static requirements. GKD also demonstrated its decades of expertise when installing the fabric hangings: The aluminum tubes had to be aligned precisely in the panels to create the appearance of a continuous texture. Definition of the golden color to be used was also a particular challenge. It needed to appear homogeneous across the entire area of the fabric and meet the high expectations of the architects with regard to the appearance of the fabric when viewed in various light conditions. The soft golden tone selected lends the atrium a subtle luster and the lobby a sense of warmth to contrast with its cool gray marble floor, walls, and aluminum screens. In the atrium itself, the gold of the fabric cladding matches the wooden finish of the wall and ceiling cladding. All in all, a sophisticated architectural calling card at the central location of the Tencent headquarters, one of the most significant Internet firms.