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Gold-colored fabric wall as translucent altar portal in Munich

Church of the Sacred Heart, Munich

A semitransparent altar portal made from special fabric appears behind the altar of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Munich. The church is considered to be one the most interesting examples of modern sacred structures. The production and installation of the woven wall behind the altar, which bears the form of the cross, is among GKD's most experimental projects.

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The material used for the gold-colored woven metal wall was tombac, an alloy of zinc and copper, which was used in two different fabric types: as a horizontally mounted cable mesh and as a vertically mounted rigid mesh – fitted one over the other. The finer fabric layer at the back shimmers through the coarser front fabric, which is arranged in a cross shape. The counteraction of the vertical and horizontal weave structures minimizes unwanted moiré effects. The overall impression is three-dimensional with increased light reflection. Daylight appears as a soft sheen, while the artificial lighting in the evening creates strong, shimmering gold reflections.

The woven wall was mounted and hung by means of a square metal frame with a grid comprised of vertical longitudinal struts and horizontal transverse struts.

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