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Secure and attractive: Metal fabric as fall guard protection

The Krypton Park-and-Ride in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France is the largest of its kind in the region. For the façade cladding of the rotunda, architect Marc Dalibard selected the Licorne 24a transparent spiral fabric from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG. The shimmering aluminum fabric combines the functions of proven fall guard protection with those of attractive solar protection.

Its Mediterranean climate and stunning location on the Côte d’Azur make the French town of Aix-en-Provence a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. A bridge connects the new building of the Krypton Park-and-Ride with the southernmost district of the town. The 900 parking spaces, 40 bicycle spaces, and twelve parking spaces for electric cars make it the largest parking garage in the entire intercommunal area of Aix-Marseille-Provence. As the central element and intermodal hub, the park-and-ride facility is linked via a small bus station with twelve lanes and a direct connection to the town center. The cars parked outside the town therefore play a significant role in stopping the place from choking in heavy traffic. The design of the parking garage also takes the attractiveness of the region into account. The façade of the rotunda was completely clad in 865 square meters of Licorne spiral mesh fabric from GKD. The shimmering silver skin transforms it into an object that fits comfortably into its surroundings. At the same time, the panels mounted on the parking garage provide reliable fall guard protection. With beveled edges and tailored panel widths, the flexible fabric appears to blend seamlessly with the curved form of the building. The mesh openings of the filigree fabric mean that it also provides pleasant ventilation and allows ample daylight into the building thanks to its high transparency. As such, the woven skin also helps to generate considerable savings in energy costs for lighting. Not least, being able to see clearly into and out of the parking garage makes it a more pleasant and safer-feeling place to be for visitors. In addition, the woven texture contributes to the weather resistance and durability of the flexible skin. For mounting, the fabric was hung freely with spirals and integrated flat profiles top and bottom. Four intermediate levels provide further stability to the system.

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