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Floating facade made of special transparent spiral fabric

Porte de Versailles

With 3,355 m² of a special version of Escale stainless steel fabric from GKD, star architect Dominique Perrault gave the largest hall of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center a new look. The 240 m wide and up to 20.5 m high spiral mesh facade made of 24 fabric panels (each 13 m x 14 m) is fastened to a construction made of narrow steel struts using flat/eyebolts, and forms a large, semi-transparent sail 8 m above the ground and several meters in front of the actual facade of hall 1. The transparency of the spiral fabric grants a hazy view of the glass front of the hall, while the visitors strolling along the gallery between the hall and the fabric facades get an unrestricted view of the surrounding site.

To compensate optically for the comparatively low incidence of light at the north-facing facade, a third of the stainless steel spirals were coated gold and distributed in seemingly random lines across the surface of the fabric facade. The gold spirals give the appearance of reflected sunlight and provide a shimmering reflection of daylight or the evening lighting of the exhibition area. A large LED screen is integrated in the center of the spiral mesh facade.

Technical specification:

  • System: façade
  • Mesh: Escale 10,5 x 1,2
  • Fastening solution: flats/eyebolts
  • Colours + surfaces: stainless steal / lacquered
  • Type of building: exhibition
  • Region/City: Paris, France
  • Architect: DPA Dominique Perrault Architecture

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