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MEDIAMESH®: GKD unites history with present day

As the former capital of the USA, Philadelphia has developed into a cultural and economic centre. The world-famous Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell – both symbols of American independence – draw countless tourists to the city every year. The tradition-steeped Mellon Independence Center is situated close to these landmarks, offering an appealing place for shopping and leisure as well as serving as representative headquarters for renowned companies. Meanwhile, the transparent MEDIAMESH® media façade system from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG spanning the roof on two sides grabs the attention of passers-by even from great distances.

The Mellon Independence Center, opened under its current name in 1989, is today among the most beautiful buildings on Market Street. The slogan “A Great Store in a Great City” on the roof was the trademark of the Lit Brothers Department Store opened on Market Street in 1891. During the course of extensive restoration work, the effect of the cult advertising medium was to be preserved while at the same time upgrading the centre into a modern ambassador for the city. Owner Brickstone therefore opted for the transparent media façade system MEDIAMESH® from GKD. The new media façade installed on the roof of the six-storey building, which was listed on the national register of monuments in 1979, perfectly combines tradition and history with modern architecture. The woven eye-catcher on the roof is 110 metres long and 4.4 metres high and stretches along two sides of the building. With brilliant images, video sequences and graphics, it really seizes the attention while at the same time emphasizing the identity of the former department store that has evolved over more than 100 years. The MEDIAMESH® system consists of 37 woven stainless steel panels with integrated LED profiles. A further seven panels made of Tigris stainless steel mesh flank the screen. For an optimal resolution, the LED profiles were arranged at a distance of four centimetres vertically and 4.25 centimetres horizontally. Behind the MEDIAMESH® system, a black screen – which can be retracted when storms hit or when it gets dark – provides the contrast to the sky necessary in bright sunshine and thereby supports the excellent display. This construction was used in conjunction with a MEDIAMESH® system for the first time in this project. The display impresses thanks to its virtually unlimited service life and low energy consumption and thereby also makes a key contribution towards energy efficiency and climate protection. Its design and transparency meet the city’s stringent requirements for the listed object while integrating the new advertising medium harmoniously into the Philadelphia cityscape.

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