Project Development Sheet Metal

Example: Goethe University Campus Riedberg


Gerber Architekten designed the building on the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University campus to reflect its role as a central building, using sharp geometric shapes and, where possible, homogeneous surfaces. The building forms the entrance to the campus and is thus the emblem of the university district of Riedberg (Frankfurt on the Main).


Planning & design

A glass facade was enhanced with a curtain wall made of expanded metal mesh which serves as a sun screen and is adapted to changing lighting conditions. Various mesh sizes were used to take account of the position of the sun throughout the day. The primary requirements for the metal facade were the gold eloxal color scheme and, more particularly, the intersections of the expanded metal struts, which had to be planned in detail.

The connections of the individual sheet metal elements had to have the lowest possible tolerances and a homogeneous transition with no offset to the adjoining metal element. To do this, the planners had to record not only the usual facade details, but also all the contours of the edges that were visible on the expanded metal mesh.

The fixings that are invisible from the outside were specially designed, as was the complete substructure, which was made from specially manufactured aluminum profiles.



Models were made in order to provide a visual representation of the fastening systems and to depict the surface color and the edge contours both on the sheet metal and, more particularly, on the metal transitions.



The aluminum pipes of the substructure were specially designed and were manufactured by extrusion. They were prefabricated in sizes which had to be as long as possible and yet transportable. The fasteners and connectors are custom-made. The expanded metal mesh was made by a stretching process, which was precisely defined beforehand. The metal ends were laser-cut to achieve the sharpest possible edges.



The installation was carried out with the aid of scaffolding and cranes. The substructure was leveled and assembled. Thanks to the precision planning and manufacturing, the individual parts simply had to be eased into position.