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25. June 2020

Metal mesh: ceiling design for Wilhelm Köhler Hall

The renovations to the old main building of the Technical University (TU) of Darmstadt included a redesign of the historic Wilhelm Köhler Hall. For the suspended ceiling, Rittmannsperger Architects chose shimmering gold metal fabric from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG. The PC-Omega 1520 fabric panels made from aluminum were mounted in waves on the ceiling and lend the hall its noble atmosphere.

TU Darmstadt, founded in 1877, is one of the leading technical universities in Germany. 25,170 students are enrolled there, mainly in engineering or science programs. The renovations to the protected old main building also included the redesign of Wilhelm Köhler Hall. The hall was originally built in 1895 as a representative assembly hall and serves today as an event venue with seating for 180. Large arched windows with glazing bars transform it into a light-flooded auditorium. The warm wood of the benches, podium, doors, plinths and cornices in combination with the white of the walls and striking coves above the doors lend it a reserved elegance. For the ceiling design, the architects selected aluminum fabric from GKD. Thirty-five PC-Omega 1520 panels – each approximately 3.6 meters long and 1.2 meters wide – were mounted in longitudinal waves along the ceiling of the hall. Their warm gold color picks up on the color scheme of the hall while creating its representative flair. A total of 162 square meters of metal fabric reflect the light of the tubular lamps suspended from the ceiling in two rows along the entire length of the hall. The ceiling shimmers with different accents depending on the perspective of the viewer. The fabric panels were mounted on a special curved substructure. To allow them to follow its shape, the panels were bent and fixed accordingly for mounting.

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