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GKD - Recreating nature: Design roof as a new landmark of Adelaide Airport

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As a thriving cultural metropolis in South Australia, Adelaide attracts tourists with its Mediterranean climate, festivals and state-of-the-art infrastructure. To meet growing passenger demand, a multi-storey car park with direct connection to the main terminal building was completed in 2012. Since then, passengers have been able to cross a car-free forecourt to reach the terminal for a safe start or continuation of their journey.

The highlight of the architects’ extraordinary design concept is a sweeping stainless steel construction cladded with Tigris metallic mesh from GKD - Gebr. Kufferath AG. 

The Woodhead International firm of architects worked together with T.C.L. Architects to design a forecourt that gives Adelaide Airport a high recognition value. Viewed from the air, the square appears to be an abstract representation of the region’s landscape.

The oval patterns on the floor evokes the hills and plains of South Australia. Benches wind organically around the newly-planted trees and turn the square into a natural oasis of tranquillity in the midst of the hectic airport traffic.

A sweeping steel construction between the terminal building and car park marks the boundary of the square and hides the upper parking levels from view. Four metres above floor level, it forms a dynamic inclined semi-circle measuring 14 metres at its highest point. To clad the massive steel construction, the architects needed a flexible material that follows the specified form.

It had to provide a completely non-glare visual appearance for pilots, while also falling in line with a variety of inclination angles and various blank cuts. Tigris mesh from GKD fulfilled these exacting requirements and passed the specially arranged pre-test with flying colours. Alongside the necessary degree of flexibility, the stainless steel mesh offers the desired high-grade appearance, is durable, low-maintenance and does not dazzle approaching pilots.

The substructure, inclined at two angles, was cladded with 270 individually cut mesh panels with lengths varying from 1.2 to 10.4 metres and a width of 1.5 metres. Each panel was attached at a different inclination angle using the Fusiomesh fastening technology developed by GKD.

In total, around 2,000 square metres of stainless steel mesh transform the Adelaide Airport forecourt into a striking landmark of the coastal city.

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