French Theater Cloaked With GKD Spiral Mesh Veil

April 07, 2015 | Projects
 Name:  Albi Grand Theatre des Cordeliers
 Location:  Albi, France
 Date:  2014
 Architect:  Dominique Perrault Architecture
 GKD Metal Fabric:   Custom "Golden" Anodized Escale

After winning the competitive design proposal in 2009, Dominique Perrault Architecture created the mesmerizing Albi Grand Theatre in France. The architectural intent was to create a cultural epicenter in this historic Southern French city.

The theater serves an impressive contrasting element in this classical city with the use of several modern building materials. A spectra aluminum composite material envelopes the façade, while a custom “golden” anodized mesh serves as a sunscreen as well as a compelling aesthetic.

Albi Grand Theatre, France, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Photography by Georges Fessy

This specially developed GKD Escale spiral mesh transforms the concave skin into a shimmering sail. The sun and sight protection screen is semi-transparent during the day while acting as a virtually invisible veil, granting a view into the world of theater when backlight at night.

Albi Grand Theatre, France, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Photography by Georges Fessy

The custom “Golden” anodized Escale, was chosen by Dominique Perrault Architecture who are avid users of GKD materials, having completed the GKD USA headquarters, the famous French National Library, and the Pasarelas del Arganzuela Footbridge all using various mesh products.  

Additionally, the construction used several more classic building such as concrete and brick. These materials were used structurally on the exterior, and then used in great abundance on the interior for walls, ceilings and floors to create what the architects call, “mono material architecture.”

Albi Grand Theatre, France, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Photography by Georges Fessy

In the architects description of the metal mesh cover they state, “To the solidity of the brick, we oppose a smooth and lightweight cover, which will dress up the prism of the threatre…We’ll also see there the metaphor of the drop cloth or the evocation of an opera stage design.”

Photography by © Georges Fessy