Two new public spaces in the Versailles Pavilion Dufour shine with detailed gold Escale 5x1 from GKD as part of a redevelopment project designed by French architect, Dominique Perrault. Among the classic stone and wood materials, is an awe-inspiring golden ceiling made of shimmering, golden metal fabric. The metal mesh dresses the entryway, where visitors begin their tour, making a strong architectural statement. Then, throughout the gallery gold Escale creates a modern accent that contrasts beautifully against a natural palette.

The reception area resides between two courtyards and a large staircase leading to the gardens outside. The draping waves of elegant metal are dedicated entirely to enhancing visitor experience. Guests make their way into the palace on the ground floor where the reception area is the first room they experience and the last room they exit. Then, leading further into the gallery, patrons are invited to follow a loop similar to many experiential designs of the world’s famous museums. 

Perrault opened up the “narrowness” of the pavilion by creating new spaces on the ground floor and larger volumes on the garden level.  During the day, natural light shines into the stairwell and reception area through a gold-tinted glass corridor - catching the reflective qualities of the mesh accents. Approximately 1,200 square feet of GKD metal fabric was used in the staircase, reception area, and hallway accents. Each panel along the ceiling measures nearly 20 feet long by 10 feet wide. Detailed edges are created through spontaneous lengths of aluminum metal inserted laterally into the Escale with three different anodized colors. The subtlety of the shades of gold makes a heavier quality at the “hem” of the metal cladding and ceiling. Vertical aluminum cladding accents, also showcasing the hem, were attached with big spirals at the top and bottom. 

Specified purely for its aesthetic purposes, GKD metal fabric has become a “go-to” material for Perrault. The suspended waves of GKD mesh along the ceiling - purely for design purposes - is even a signature move for the famous architect. He used a similar ceiling dressing in one of his public building projects in the 1990’s in Paris, France. The dynamic, reflective qualities of the metal weaving are major reasons Perrault specifies the material beyond the functional benefits of sunshading, acoustics, and sustainability.

Further enhancements created with the refurbishment of the French castle include a string of new rooms. Guests can enjoy a new restaurant and adjoining tea rooms in gold and wood paneling. The third floor guides visitors to a new auditorium that evokes nautical themes with wood sheathing in the shape of an upside-down boat hull. 

The redevelopment combines historical heritage with modern design. By working within the interior of the chateau de Versailles, the project offers a sustainable and efficient solution while preserving the integrity of the palace. The Versailles Pavilion Dufour has a long history of hosting modern talent. Now with an interior redesign, decorated in cascading golden Escale, the chateau evokes modernity in harmony with the museum’s exhibits. 

About the Project
Project Name: Versailles Pavilion Dufour
Location: Versailles, France
Architect: Dominique Perrault Architecture
Completion Date: 2015 
GKD Metal Fabric: Escale 5x1
Photography: Andre Morin, Christian Milet, Dominique ADAGP