Curtains of steel
von Bauer Birgit S. | Feb 11, 2009

Catching light and energy is the blessing and curse of modern glass architecture; behind the glass facade, after all, people are mostly sitting in front of their computers and do not want to be dazzled. A solution to this dilemma, which also fulfils the aesthetic demands of architecture, is provided by the Silver and Steel Collections from the Swiss textile manufacturer Création Baumann of Langenthal.

To call these textiles, with their high-tech finish, just "curtains" would be nothing less than sacrilege. For they are fabrics which are as light and transparent as tulle, while at the same time reflecting a part of the sunlight and heat radiation. The coating on the fabrics, through which this is achieved, is produced in high-tech processes such as cathode atomisation, using nano-technology - which is why the particular features of the woven fabrics are hardly visibly to the eye or the touch, and only a light silver shine reveals the coated side. Here the fabrics give a smoother effect than on the front side.

According to the manufacturer, the steel coating in the new Steel Collection reflects somewhat less than the aluminium coating used in the existing Silver Collection; but, unlike the aluminium-coated fabrics, those in the "steel" series are actually washable and less prone to creasing and tearing. Thus these textiles, better than any others, create a pleasant, dazzle-free atmosphere and help to reduce a building's energy consumption.

But there is more to the collection than just these functional values. Designs and colours range from muted monochrome, to extensive prints featuring crystalline motifs, to fine coloured woven stripes in organza. Here it can be seen how thoroughly capable this company-internal design studio is at producing an overall concept, consistently developing the design, the fabric structures and the features of the textiles in an interplay with contemporary architecture.

And there is one more plus point: planners will find all metered values and certificates on energy calculation available on the Création Baumann website.