Adelaide Airport, Australia

New design horizons with metal fabric

Rapidly increasing passenger numbers – with 4.1 billion passengers being transported worldwide in 2017 alone – are being reflected in ever greater airport architecture dimensions.
^ At Adelaide Airport in Australia, 2,000 square meters of TIGRIS stainless steel fabric from GKD were used for the extended and slanted façade of the path connecting the terminal with the parking garage.

Text & Image by Gebr. Kufferath AG

Whether expansion and upgrade processes for existing buildings to meet altered requirements or large new buildings that provide a stage for experiencing aviation: metal fabrics from GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG are an established standard in global airport architecture.
In the competition for locational advantages, airports are transformed from purposeful and often cold places of transit to representative feel-good spaces. For the operators, however, economic constraints are often the key factors. In this vein, rental income from retail and catering units are just as indispensable as parking and landing fees when it comes to financing the airports. GKD metal fabric offers architects and owners a virtually limitless range of design options for façades, ceilings, walls, and parking garages when attempting to balance the necessary attractiveness with functionality and security of investment.

Versatile metal mesh
The functional and aesthetic properties make the fabrics universally deployable. With weavable dimensions of eight meters in width and 100 meters in length, GKD metal fabrics are predestined for use in the design of these sophisticated large buildings. Beside a large number of fabric types, the entire spectrum of design visions can be realized through use of colored surfaces, printing, etching, or medialization.
Stainless steel fabrics also make a valuable contribution to gaining sustainability certificates, as they support optimization of building energy consumption, a long service life, and material-specific recyclability. The transparent media façade systems from GKD combine the benefits of a high-performance LED display for advertising and entertainment with the fabric-typical properties of transparency and flexibility. In the field of airport architecture, they facilitate installation of huge video screens in front of window areas or passages by allowing light to pass through and therefore maintaining views.
In the mid 1990s for instance, the parking garage façade made of GKD metal fabric at Terminal II of Cologne Bonn Airport represented a pioneering architectural turning point for the design of new buildings in the field of transportation architecture. Today, cable fabrics are ubiquitous in the field of airport construction.
Stainless steel fabric can attribute its ongoing success in the world of airport interior design to its rugged multi-functionality and versatility the rugged stainless steel mesh can permanently withstand adverse weather conditions, including wind, rain, snow, and frost, as well as the vandalism that is sadly encountered all too often at travel hubs.


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