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06. June 2019

Metal fabric: Golden façade for art school in Calais

Within the scope of a 100-million-Euro infrastructure project, the Ecole d’Art de Calais art school moved into a new building set to mark the beginning of a new era for the French harbor city. As an eye-catcher and contribution to the building's ambitious sustainability concept, the French architecture firm Arc.Ame opted for Escale golden metal fabric from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG for the curved three-part façade.

The three-part building constructed from concrete, glass, and metal fabric is sensitively nestled in the central district of Saint-Pierre de Calais. The coarse surface of the concrete is in conscious contrast to the glossy metallic skin and the full-height glass elements that provide the desired transparency and light in the building. The slightly curved shape of the structure is reminiscent of roller shutter cabinets, thus reflecting the workshop character of the art school. However, the key conveyors of meaning are the suspended, semi-transparent metal fabric façade elements from GKD. The warm gold tone of the shimmering aluminum fabric represents the building’s function as an art school, as metal is used either directly or indirectly in all artistic disciplines. At the same time, the semi-transparent metal fabric performs the function of a protective membrane between the outside world and the internal life of the school. As such, both the desired degree of artistic intimacy and the town’s citizens’ declared wish for transparency are taken into account. The metal fabric elements pair this signature aesthetic with effective glare and solar protection. As such, the textile skin makes a valuable contribution to the art school’s ambitious sustainability concept by increasing user comfort and preventing the school building from becoming too warm.

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