Kaufman Performing Arts
The first hurdle in designing a workable solution for Helzberg Hall was a small freight elevator that acted as the only access to the nearly completed space. The architect originally envisioned a continuous panel of rigid metal mesh, extending from floor to apex. However, this design proved impossible to install as any material brought into the hall needed to be small enough to fit into the elevator
In response to this obstacle, Gieske worked with the architects to propose a system of stackable, framed modules that were enveloped in GKD manufactured Tigris PC metal mesh. As the building’s concrete bays are both concave and tapered, 16.5 feet wide at the base and 9 feet wide at the highest point, the acoustic boxes needed to be manufactured with absolute precision to create a virtually seamless look. Not only did it need to look faultless, but it was imperative that it be acoustically transparent. Any sound waves needed to pass directly through the metal mesh and the material itself needed to have a neutral effect on the natural acoustics.
Once brought into the space, the stackable modules were tilted into place and secured with fasteners to the building sub-structure. One of the concerns with this system, and yet another hurdle, was that the series of fasteners and framed modules might “buzz” due to high-intensity sound waves. In response, Gieske devised a method of isolating each framed module, using tapered nubs to prevent metal on metal contact and dissipate sound waves. The finished product, comprised of 101 panels and 8,000 square feet of material, met both the architects’ vision and the approval of the project acoustician.
The wall cladding in the concert hall of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City/Missouri presented a particular architectural and acoustic challenge. The architects ultimately decided to go with ‘PC Tigris’ stainless steel mesh for cladding the walls.
The concert hall, named Helzberg Hall, has special architectural features, including walls of more than 20 meters in height, concave architecture and much more. Not only was the wall cladding to provide neutral acoustics but at the same time cater to the building’s very special architecture. The architects from Moshe Safdie decided on stainless steel mesh from GKD. A total of around 750 m² of ‘PC Tigris’ architectural mesh was used – framed in custom mesh modules fabricated & installed by Gieske.
The architecture of the 285,000 m² Kauffman Center is reminiscent of a mussel. The open, glazed south-facing façade offers an impressive panorama outlook over the horizon. The concert hall of the events centre also impresses with its remarkable architecture: The 1,600 seats are located all around the stage, while an artistically designed organ stretches up to the ceiling in the heart of the hall. These are complemented by 20-metre high, concave-shaped bays, which taper from a width of five metres at ground level to three metres at the ceiling.
Stainless steel architectural mesh met all requirements including acting as an interior design feature for the sophisticated wall cladding as it is acoustically neutral and can be transported as individual mesh modules.To ensure pure and clean acoustics it was essential that the sound waves did not cause the mesh panels to oscillate or generate background noise. To offer vibration dampening, the mesh module frames were separated from one another using arched nubs. The precise vertical alignment of the stainless steel mesh panels was made possible by the very tight manufacturing tolerances of Gieske Custom Metal.