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14. April 2018

GKD: Golden ceiling made from metal fabric

In view of climate change, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) has an increasingly important role to play. As part of the continuous expansion of the headquarters in Darmstadt, designed by Pielok Marquardt Architects, the latest new building not only hosts additional offices, but also a new canteen. A blade-tape suspended ceiling made from gold-colored aluminum fabric of the type PC-ALU 6010 from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG lends the canteen its unique look.

EUMETSAT observes the atmosphere, oceans, and the Earth’s surface around the clock and transmits the data to the EU member states. With a six-story office building, the headquarters in Darmstadt was expanded to accommodate 160 workstations. The ten-million-euro new build, a mirror image of an existing building, is characterized by its high-quality energy efficiency, multifunctionality, and modern design. This is also reflected in the canteen, which is located on the first floor as a separate functional unit along with the control system for satellite programs. It has been designed to provide 410 meals a day and offers 250 seats. A mullion-transom façade floods the room with light and its inviting color concept is a real eyecatcher. The white of the tables and chairs is echoed in the cladding of the serving counter, pillars, and supports. Rounded off by the warm brown of the stone floor, it forms a fresh contrast to the vibrant red of the benches with sound-absorbing backs in the central zone. The clever furnishing also provides optimal acoustic properties. What really sets the tone optically is the suspended ceiling consisting of 400 square meters of gold-colored aluminum fabric from GKD. Paired with LED lighting strips, 120 blade-type elements made from gently shimmering fabric generate a warm effect in the room. It was a key requirement that the ceiling elements be easy to modify, as they conceal the technology required for ventilation, cabling, and pipework. The planners chose a special design of the fabric type PC-ALU 6010 with different wire diameters for warp and weft, creating a particularly open weave structure.

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