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21. January 2011

Checkmate for monotony

Woven sleeve to combine function and aesthetics

Multi-storey car parks frequently have almost no image. As a means to an end, they offer parking spaces instead of aesthetics. Treated for a long time as the Cinderella of architecture, in many locations that are merely great lumps of concrete devoid of charm or soul and have been dumped into their surroundings with little thought or sensitivity. Even now it is still very seldom that a builder sees the potential for expressing a Corporate Identity that is hidden in multi-storey car parks. However, new construction materials, structures and methods increasingly can make out of these purely functional buildings for traffic architecture something that deserves a second look. A significant part of the impetus that has been given to literally put multi-storey car parks in a better light has been provided by the international leader in technical weaving, GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG. Their architectural and design fabrics first found application in the 1990’s by Helmut Jahn in the multi-storey car park at Cologne/Bonn airport. Today this material that is just as functional as it is aesthetic is used in multi-storey car parks around the world. The transparency of the textile structure allows natural lighting throughout the day, while at night it makes the building into a fixed point that is illuminated from the inside. This cladding with the transparent media façade systems Mediamesh® or Illumesh® has within itself in addition an enormous amount of design and utilization potential. This metal fabric with integrated LED profiles transforms the car parks into a media platform that makes a strong statement. While Illumesh® can bring the facades to life at night at relatively little cost through animated lighting, Mediamesh® can make a powerful advertising statement with moving images, advertising clips or advanced graphics around the clock and in the best reproduction quality. This has a very attractive potential for marketing and in particular at forms of traffic architecture that are heavily used such as airports or stadiums.

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