Behind the veil

Words:
Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Angers in France might have the Apocalypse Tapestry, the biggest medieval tapestry in the world, but it crossed the Channel, to where the Bayeaux version was stitched, to clad its dramatic new 250,000m2 ‘Atoll’ retail complex. UK firm Formtexx was appointed by Antonio Virga Architecte and AAVP Architecture to manufacture the bespoke double curved aluminium panels, that make a spectacular free-form archway over a road. White powder-coated aluminium panels on the 3D curved facade of were perforated to create a network of diamond patterns which can be backlit, creating an iridescent mesh veil of the building by night. The facade also acts as an effective acoustic and weather screen for the whole development.

Formtexx used 3D automotive design software to make the 4m by 1.5m panels to +/-2mm accuracy to ease installation. They were then coated and shipped to site for final assembly. Efforts to ensure accuracy at the manufacturing stage paid off – every panel fitted first time.

Latest

If passive heat control can work in Burkina Fasso it can surely be applied in Europe. Brian Ford offers seven design principles to help avoid carbon intensive air conditioning

Air conditioning makes us hotter – don’t give it house room

South Africa’s housing crisis puts the UK’s in the shade. Joseph Noero takes a practical approach to his mission to change that

Simple, affordable Table House has huge potential to improve lives

RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner famed for buildings such as the Olivetti offices, Fountains Abbey visitor centre and the Downland Gridshell among others; teacher, collaborator and known above all for his inclusive, optimistic approach

Hugely influential designer, teacher and Royal Gold Medallist

Architect Tom Bennett explains why the urgency of arresting climate crisis leaves him no alternative but to get involved – seriously

One architect on why climate activism is worth a criminal record

Profits flatline in the RIBA Business Benchmarking 2019 survey despite bigger workloads for architects bringing in more revenue

Employment is up, so is international work – the results of RIBA’s Business Benchmarking survey