Made to Shade
What would the Modernist movement have done without the inherent drama of the glass facade? Glass was (and perhaps still is) as much a statement of principle as it was a material selection. And yet buildings with huge expanses of glass, even today, can be challenging to light, difficult to heat, and even harder to cool. But the mechanism for controlling heat, light, and glare doesn’t have to be a technological one. Sometimes it can be as simple and elegant as a set of well-made curtains.
Création Baumann, a fourth-generation Swiss textile manufacturer, has a long-standing solution for the contract market: the Silver&Steel collection. First introduced in 1998, the Silver line was recently enhanced with a protective coating for easier cleaning. It now comes in a range of colors and patterns, and the textile has a thin layer of aluminum mesh on its reverse side. “The basic idea is to provide fabrics that you can see out of,” Philippe Baumann, CEO of Création Baumann, says.
The newer Steel option uses an ultrathin layer of steel mesh. Because it’s darker than the Silver mesh, Steel reflects less light but adapts to a wider selection of woven and knitted fabrics. The textile uses the latest in nanotechnology. “The process is called sputtering,” Baumann says. “Basically, you bring metal elements to a surface, and then they go through a special finish. It’s a very technical process.”
Both lines are made from flame-retardant polyester.
The textiles reduce glare and heat transmission, and provide UV protection.
Though principally for the contract market, the curtains are useful in any glass building that needs to reduce glare and heat transmission.
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