The New Cool in Parking Garage Design


The New Cool in Parking Garage Design

Kaynemaile has reimagined two thousand-year-old chainmail into a unique architectural mesh product called Kaynemaile-Armour which is now specified and installed on parking garages around the world. The company was established in 2006 after CEO and founder Kayne Horsham developed a liquid state assembly process to develop lightweight chainmail — a world first — taking chainmail out of the Iron Age and into the 21st century world of modern science.

Made from high-grade polycarbonate (the same material used in airplane windshields and astronaut helmets), the product is extremely robust and impact resistant. Weighing close to half a pound per square foot, the lightweight nature of the mesh is one of the reasons architects, designers and engineers are so excited about the material. It can be used in place of steel sheets or metal mesh and dramatically cuts the static load on buildings. This means labor costs for installation are reduced, a bonus in today’s construction market.

Want to keep your parking garage cool?

With a unique three-dimensional structure, the architectural mesh significantly reduces both radiant and thermal conductive heat from entering the building envelope by up to 70 percent. This means air conditioning design and system costs are reduced during the build. Daily power consumption costs are also lower in hot climates.

Steel mesh products are highly thermally conductive and transfer radiant heat into the building raising the internal temperature. The high-grade polycarbonate architectural mesh remains at a near ambient temperature, even at the height of summer. The mesh also enables free airflow movement of up to 80 percent thanks to its unique three-dimensional structure. This provides a significant cooling effect with greater airflow movement than traditional two-dimensional steel panels.

Enagua at the Runway, Playa Vista, Los Angeles, California, USA

In 2015 Kaynemaile worked with American artist Ned Kahn on a unique kinetic installation as part of the new Playa Vista development in the Westside neighborhood of Los Angeles. Situated at the Runway, a mixed use social and retail destination at the heart of the Playa Vista development, the 98-foot-tall kinetic installation wraps around the parking complex facade, connecting the streetscape to the various access points and the upper floors of the surrounding buildings.

The kinetic installation is named Enagua after the garment which adds volume and fullness beneath a dress. The rippling ribbons resemble billowing fabric. Although LA is not known for high winds the installation takes advantage of a wind channel from the nearby Pacific Ocean that blows through the installation and keeps the chainmail mesh moving. The unique design of the Playa Vista installation evolved though extensive collaboration with Ned Kahn and his team and the project architects Johnson Fain of Los Angeles.

Daily power consumption costs are also lower in hot climates.

Loma Linda University Hospital

A recent installation was completed on the Loma Linda University parking garage facade in San Bernardino, California. The hot, dry climate of San Bernardino meant sun protection and airflow were critical requirements in the design. The solar reduction properties of this chainmail architectural mesh provide enhanced passive heat reduction to the interior of this busy parking garage. With a fast install time and simple fixing details, the product exceeded the project requirements, providing enhanced air flow through beautiful louver-like strips.

Transforming a utilitarian parking garage into a stunning visual landmark

The design for the parking garage at Westfield’s Pacific Fair shopping center at Broadbeach, Australia was inspired from the waves and golden sand of the nearby Pacific Ocean. During the day the sun sparkles off the ten million or so individual rings of the champagne-colored front screens. At night the rear layer of translucent sea green creates a rippling wave, highlighted by well-placed architectural lighting and moved by the ocean breeze. The facade was designed as a series of vertical strips and fabricated to allow for a fast install, ready to go out of the box. This meant the strips could be installed easily at any point along the facade depending on site requirements.

Stephen Simpson, the project design manager sums up this project best: “Using Kaynemaile really invigorated this project for us. It turned a parking garage into a compelling architectural statement’. 

Multi-story single piece screens

A recent parking garage project for the Agostino Group building in Adelaide, South Australia for Commercial & General was clad using only eight individual screens – the biggest being a seamless screen 190-foot-wide by 52 foot high. Making large screens is possible as the material is incredibly lightweight and can be manufactured in seamless pieces to any size. Large screens don’t require the same level of fixings or substructure as traditional metal mesh products. 

With install speed in mind, developing propriety fixing systems to allow these large screens to be lifted and fixed off in a day, significantly reducing road closures and disruptions to the surrounding neighborhood. 

Kaynemaile-Armour mesh is now being used to beautify and protect interior and exterior environments globally and is recognized by major players in the design and construction world for its incredible functionality and innovative properties.

Robyn Downham is Client Director/Brand Ambassador at Kaynemaile Limited. She can be reached at

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Robyn Downham
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