Behind the veil

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.