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Metal Fabric in Kansas City University Building | GKD Metal Fabrics
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Metal Fabric in Kansas City University Building | GKD Metal Fabrics

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  • Use

    Facade, solar shading, lighting
  • Applications

    Educational, exterior
  • Characteristics

    Durable, easy maintenance, solar shading, 50% open area

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The Kansas City University Center for Medical Education Innovation seeks to convey a sense of educational innovation and vitality, using the building facade to link the interior campus to the city beyond. A large scale glass facade forms a vitrine for the multi-level lobby space within. This tiered space gives the facade its distinctive form while visually connecting the lecture theatre space with the Kansas City skyline to the beyond. This western facade provides the best views and connectivity with the community, however, it presents the challenge of how to preserve this visual transparency while providing shelter from the intense western sun. The design team of CO Architects, Helix Architecture + Design devised an elegant solution through the use of a metal fabric screen.

The designers specified GKG Omega 1520 metal fabric from GKD Metal Fabrics for its ability to simultaneously deliver shading and visual transparency. The thin metal fabric fins have been designed to meet strict building code requirements and wind loads. Facade anchors support the metal fabric at every floor level as well as at the top and bottom - supporting the complete 42-ft vertical span of mesh. This system has also been deployed on the building's southern facade to ensure a uniform appearance and economic solution.

GKD Metal Fabrics | Kansas City University - Center for Medical Education Innovation

The metal fabric screens create a dynamic facade that at times appears solid or completely transparent, depending on the time of day and vantage point. As the sun moves across the building facade during the day, this dynamic material changes appearance shimmering with the movement of the light. When the sun sets, color-changing LED's illuminate the mesh, creating a colorful beacon in dialogue with the city through color.

Project Details:

Project Name: Kansas City University Center for Medical Education Innovation
Architects: CO Architects, Helix Architecture + Design
GKD Metal Fabric: GKG Omega 1520

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