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02. December 2020

Metal mesh: Ceiling solution for Muscat International Airport

The 1.8-billion-dollar expansion of Muscat International Airport is the largest infrastructure project in the history of Oman. Alongside its function as an air traffic hub, the airport situated 30 kilometers west of Muscat provides a glamorous shopping experience with its three wings arranged in a row, each with three floors.

Covering a total area of 335,000 square meters, travelers can make use of 86 check-in desks – 30 for departures and 56 for arrivals, 29 air bridges, 40 arrival and departure gates, 29 lounges, a 12,000-square-meter duty free area, 8,000 parking spaces, various restaurants and cafés, and a hotel with 90 beds. Metal mesh from GKD plays a key role in the interior design of the airport. Twelve applications in all – including fascinating ceiling solutions – shape the spatial effect in all parts of the building. A prime example are the grid ceilings above the car rental area and at the transitions to the north and south piers. Sixty panels – each one meter wide and two meters long – are held in place as pretensioned panels by aluminum frames. To ensure that the tension is maintained permanently, they were also riveted to a central tube. The shimmering elegance of the grid ceiling is underscored by downlights integrated into the fabric. A visual highlight are the projecting roofs made of stainless steel mesh above the immigration counter. Here, 52 panels spanning more than 465 square meters were stretched over frames in a tightly packed row. Thanks to diffuse reflections from the indirect lighting and the light strips in the joins, the fabric looks different from every angle. The largest and most spectacular application of the ceiling mesh from GKD, however, are the semi-transparent canopies above the travelators in the piers, which are flanked by large palm trees. GKD developed a new fabric from the Lamelle mesh range especially for this purpose: Covering more than 3,210 square meters, the shimmering fabric in a soft gold tone was connected to the formative steel construction fitted with downlights in 210 curved panels. It arches over travelers like a protective roof. Alongside its light weight and the requisite robustness, the special mesh is characterized by its particularly fine appearance. This is created by the bronze-coated aluminum weft wires produced in a continuous process and the untreated stainless steel warp wires. The steel construction shows through the delicate texture, giving the impression of a canopy of leaves threaded through with veins. The canopy above the six escalators leading from the arrivals level to the departures level and on to the hotel is formed by four panels made of stainless steel mesh – each almost 13 meters long and up to 1.25 meters wide. Hung freely, they follow the path of the escalators along their entire length. In addition, the fabric panels conceal the technical installations. As such, metal fabrics from GKD play a major role in the subtle elegance of the airport in all wings of the building and set new standards in contemporary airport design.

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