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15. January 2019

Golden shimmer: Metal mesh in the Palace of Versailles

As part of the 500 million euro renovation project of the Palace of Versailles south of Paris, the Dufour Pavilion plays a key role in reorganizing the flow of visitors. In designing the ceilings and walls, renowned French architect Dominique Perrault opted for Escale gold metal fabric from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG. The smooth texture with a shimmering, three-dimensional effect fits in with the opulence of the palace and supports the subtle reference to the historic decor through its interplay with light.

Since the renovation, the Dufour Pavilion has become the central entrance area for the six million visitors who come to the Palace of Versailles each year. They enter the magnificently decorated foyer through a columned hall. Here they are greeted by a ceiling design featuring golden canopies made of Escale 5 x 1 aluminum fabric. Based on a design by Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost, Perrault reinterpreted the GKD fabric: He had aluminum rods of varying lengths – anodized in three different shades of gold – randomly inserted into the spiraling, matt-golden flat wires. This gave the fabric a particularly sculptural effect, which he also employed as a wall cladding. After touring the building, visitors exit into the open air on the Cour des Princes from the redesigned lower floor with cloakrooms, toilets, lockers, and the museum shop. Perrault also used golden Escale fabric from GKD between two glass walls that flank the exit stairs on the side of the building. The warm shimmer forms a consistent visual start and end point to the redesign. Above the exit stairway, Perrault had golden panels fastened to horizontal masts like standards to escort the visitors on their way back to the Cour des Princes.

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