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

With retail flagging how can we bring life back into towns? Architects, this is your chance to step up

With retail flagging how can we bring life back into towns?

Gundry + Ducker's innovative design for the RIBA Marketplace stand at this year's Futurebuild event is made from Rockwool insulation and Rockpanel cladding for a restful, reading room feel

RIBA hub design at Futurebuild keeps things quiet

As cuts in public services bite ever deeper it’s down to local people to save and reinvent neglected or redundant structures. Architects play a crucial role

Local activists need public-spirited architects

National Museum, Tartu, Estonia

National Museum, Tartu, Estonia

Impressive productivity gains are offset by rising payroll costs in the RIBA Business Benchmarking Survey  this year

Revenues are rising twice as fast as staff numbers