At just 36 he won the international architecture competition to design the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF) and is now set to take his place among the immortals at the age of 63. At a special ceremony held in Paris, French architect and city planner Dominique Perrault took his place among the eight lifetime members of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in the field of architecture. Prince Karim Aga Khan IV held the laudatory speech for the man who discovered metallic mesh for the field of architecture – a key style element of Perrault’s buildings for more than 20 years. The valuable sword, which is one of the honorable office’s insignias, was not produced elaborately by a goldsmith. Instead, Perrault requested that it be made from stainless steel with a reinforcing steel look. GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG (GKD), the company that has been implementing his architectural visions in metallic mesh since the BnF, also proved a congenial partner in mastering this rather unusual challenge. Together with the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, the company developed the solution for high-tech production of the puristic sword using selective laser melting.
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