gkd metal fabrics: media mesh


GKD Metal Fabrics is a supplier of interwoven metal meshes for large-scale architectural use.

GKD Mediamesh, a metal fabric product with integral LED video system, is an excellent example of the integration of green design + digital media in architecture.  The walls can be used as architectural sun screens, cutting down on the solar heat load entering a building, while simultaneously retaining the views from inside the building and acting as a video screen from the outside.


Woven metal fabrics offer a wonderful visual inversion: when the primary illumination is from the viewer’s side, the surface appears solid.  When the primary illumination is on an object or wall surface behind the metal fabric surface, the fabric appears highly transparent (it can almost completely disappear when viewed from a distance).


As such, if a direct-view lighting product is integrated into the weave of the mesh, it can “magically” appear to dance across the transparent surface (because it will be visually brighter then the surface behind the mesh).


GKD has creatively exploited this effect with the Mediamesh product, which includes an integrated direct view LED display system woven right into their products.


They’ve also created a variant of the concept called “Illumesh“, with the LED bars mounted proud of the metal mesh on outriggers, illuminating the front side of the mesh.


So…when are they integrating solar cells into these systems?


The Illumesh variant produces softer, more volumetric surfaces then the precision seen in the direct view Mediamesh product.


One thing that we haven’t confirmed yet is the infrastructure requirements behind these walls.  Surely, there is a large complement of power supplies and data storage/distribution gear that needs to find a home close to these walls, plus the always thorny issue of addressing and pixel mapping.

Design in conjungtion with ag4|media facade (we’ll be covering their other projects in a seperate post).

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