Golden metal mesh façade: Chinese National Theater
National Grand Theater, Beijing
The Xinghai metal mesh that shimmers in shades of gold was developed by GKD especially for the Chinese National Theater and impressively cloaks the inner façade of the theater's main hall over 5,400 m². A custom construction of the Baltic stainless steel mesh was used to clad 123 pillars.
The special Xinghai metal mesh consists of virtually invisible stainless steel cables and aluminum wires (anodized in two different shades of gold) that were woven together in a random color combination using a special weaving technique – in line with the specifications of the French architect Paul Andreu. The metal mesh sheaths the façade of the theater hall in a magical looking cloak while also serving as fall guard protection and a filter for light, air, and sound. The 160 façade panels needed (up to 10 m long and 6.70 m wide) were mounted to the façade substructure and tensioned with round rods and eyebolts.
For the cladding of the pillars (each 9.40 m high with a diameter of 4 m) the architect selected the Baltic stainless steel mesh with a considerably denser weft wire (Ø 2.5 mm) than standard. The mesh and the pillars beneath were painted dark gray on site – in contrast with the large-format golden metal mesh façade.