Mesh facades are visually impressive as well as a practical tool for limiting sunlight exposure.

Great uses of expanded metal mesh facades from around the world

When thoughtfully designed and properly installed, an expanded metal mesh facade makes a building visually distinct and memorable while offering a variety of practical benefits as well.

Headquarters and major facilities are a crucial part of an organisation's identity. With the right facade included in the design, your new or existing building can become a valuable element of overall brand recognition.

Let's review exactly what an expanded metal mesh facade is, then review some especially impressive examples of their use in structures built across the globe.

What is an expanded metal mesh facade?

In the world of architecture, a facade is simply an external side of a building. It often, but not always, refers to the front of the structure. The distinguishing feature of the facade is its importance in establishing the overall style and identity of the overall structure. While a well-designed facade often includes design flourishes usually aren't as prevalent throughout the rest of the building, it is the most memorable.

Expanded metal mesh is a piece, or many pieces, of metal cut and stretched to form a distinct design. A variety of base materials can be used to reach a final product that displays a wide range of patterns. It can additionally be treated with a variety of paints and lacquers to display many different colours, and graphics can be printed on the mesh as well. Certain varieties of plants can also grow on the mesh, adding another visually impressive option.

The visually distinct appearance of expanded metal mesh isn't the only benefit it provides. A key element of this metal mesh is its ability to filter some, but not all, light from reaching a building. This helps regulate building temperature, reducing the amount of sunlight that comes into contact with the underlying structure while still allowing for air to circulate.

Additionally, metal mesh can maintain visibility into the outside world for staff and guests while reducing the amount of direct sunlight shining directly into meeting and working spaces. Depending on a building's orientation, this benefit can help employees and others avoid this type of unwelcome distraction.

3 buildings with especially impressive expanded metal mesh facades

1. Maison Folie de Wazemmes, Lille, France

The Maison Folie de Wazemmes is an excellent example of how a building facade can breathe new life into an existing structure. By applying modern design principles and benefits to an existing textile factory, this multi-use arts facility enjoys an incredibly eye-catching design that aligns with the facility's overall intent and purpose.

The aesthetic benefits are increased through the use of multicoloured lights that can transform the steel grey facade exterior at night, displaying a range of vibrant hues. This benefit is another example of the versatility of mesh facades from a design perspective. Of course, the facade also shields visitors, volunteers, performers and staff from the harshest effects of sunlight entering the building during the day as well.

This example of an expanded metal mesh demonstrates how a wide range of buildings, both old and new, can create a distinct atmosphere with the carefully designed and applied facade.

2. Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic, Kuwait

The facade of the Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic in Kuwait is another instance of facades combining practical and visual benefits. Designed by firm AGi architects, which has offices in Madrid and Kuwait, the clinic emphasises privacy – a core need in healthcare settings – while featuring a truly impressive outside appearance.

The overall building design places its courtyards and similar interior spaces within the facade, which plays a critical role in filtering and deflecting light. In a consistently hot, dry climate, offering access to outdoor spaces while reducing potential issues like heat exposure is critical.

This expanded metal mesh facade also makes an incredible first impression. While not a traditional design for a healthcare building, it's both memorable and easily distinguished from a distance. The ease with which visitors and locals can identify the structure is a significant advantage in terms of branding and recognition.

3. Deloitte Bygget, Oslo

We featured the Deloitte Bygget building when highlighting notable commercial building facades, and its distinctive appearance means its worth a second look. Located in an area of Oslo full of skyscrapers and other impressive structures, this building needed to stand out as its own structure.

The visual approach to the facade is based on a breaking glacier, which offers a unique appearance as well as a strong connection to Norway's cultural history and physical location. The practical benefits are similar to many other facades: Limiting the ability of sunlight to directly contact the underlying structure, helping to reduce heating costs and provide shade for those inside the building.

This facade is also notable for allowing the Deloitte Bygget to conform to Oslo's strict building codes while creating a strong visual identity. That's something worth keeping in mind for every project where a facade may be used.

Moving forward with your own facade

Expanded metal mesh facades allow businesses to add their own twist on common building designs, repurpose existing structures with a new, attractive visual element and stand out in areas where building codes limit other forms of individuality. Of course, they also provide practical benefits that help to address issues with direct sun exposure and HVAC management, as well as offer valuable shade and a more consistent environment for staff and visitors.

To find out how Locker Group can help turn your own facade idea into a reality, get in touch with us today.

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