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Metal mesh façade cladding as a drum symbol

2,280 square meters of Omega metal mesh from GKD clad the new exterior façade of the head office of the national statistics authority (Stats SA) in Pretoria, South Africa.

The wire mesh façade combines reliable functionality with unique design, serving as highly effective solar protection and a fall guard on the balconies, as well as providing a visible symbol of the authority's work.
The new head office was designed by the South African architectural firms GLH and Terra Ether. A key task of the architects was to make the work and function of Stats SA recognizable in the new building complex. Therefore, a visually seamless façade cladding made of metal mesh was used to give a rotunda at the main entrance an appearance reminiscent of a drum – a symbol for communication in South Africa.

The metal mesh was used for a total of 41 panels of various widths and a height of 10.14 m, which were deployed for the building façade. A further design highlight was the interplay of more than 500,000 stainless steel buttons affixed to the woven skin, which create a pattern that replicates the inscription of a Stone Age counting tool found in 2002, thereby making a further reference to the field of activity of the statistics authority through the façade cladding.

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