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18. March 2021

Metal mesh: solar protection façade for competence center

For Nestlé, one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, Pielok Marquardt architects added two new buildings to the German headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. The smaller new building houses a crèche and a fitness studio. The other building was designed as an ultra-modern competence center. As the façade cladding for this 1,500-square-meter building, the architects selected the special mesh Alu 202020 made of aluminum from GKD.

The new multifunctional Nestlé Competence Center in Lyoner Quartier informs visitors interactively about the topics of nutrition and consumer behavior. The fully-glazed shop accessible through a generous entrance hall on the first floor offers the entire Nestlé assortment, and not just for employees of the company. Above the set-back first floor, two visually united protruding floors rise up as if suspended on a pedestal. While the top one of them is home to a modern conference level, the middle floor contains the core element of the building. This is where a multi-communication area provides space for major events with up to 220 people. Solar-protection cladding made of mesh louvers underscores the unique atmosphere of the space. Produced from the GKD special mesh Alu 202020 with an open area of 45.7 percent, the partly movable solar protection elements regulate the solar input and daylight entering the building as needed. The large mesh aperture creates a transparent effect directed at inviting exchange with citizens. At the same time, the rigid, tightly woven fabric impresses with its great stability, weather resistance, and freedom from maintenance. A total of 208 panels were used – each approximately six meters high and 0.50 meters wide. These extreme dimensions required great care during handling and transport in order to avoid damaging the mesh. Some of the mesh panels cut to size at rights angles were folded over on two sides and fastened to frames.

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