Köln-Kolleg in the heart of Cologne offers adults the chance to gain the German entrance qualifications for university or advanced technical college. As part of the college’s energy-efficient renovation, the monolithic teaching building was given a facelift by the Nebel Pössl firm of architects. The building is characterized by escape balconies running around the exterior as well as two emergency exit stairwells, which enable students and teachers to exit the interior of the college in an emergency. When it came to choosing the new cladding, the architects opted for PC-Futura 3110 metal mesh for the balconies and Futura 3110 for the emergency exit stairwells. The woven structure allows natural light to enter the emergency exit routes while also meeting the high safety requirements set of teaching buildings as a functional fall guard protection element. Neither the view of the outside surroundings nor the incidence of light through the ceiling-high windows is obstructed. As such, the woven membrane contributes toward significant savings in electricity costs for lighting. At the same time the open mesh structure allows natural ventilation, enabling hot air and smoke to immediately escape in the event of a fire. Despite its air permeability, the sturdy and weather-resistant system also offers protection against driving rain. Alongside these excellent functional properties, the woven structure also impresses from an aesthetic point of view: the combination of cable mesh on the stairwells and PC mesh on the balconies forms a homogeneous interplay that discreetly blends in with the puristic façade design with its dark metal windows. However, the metal mesh still gives the building an inviting feel through shimmering light reflections.
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