The Virtually Untapped Design Potential of Mesh Cladding Panels

The Virtually Untapped Design Potential of Mesh Cladding Panels

Humans have exploited the protective qualities of metallic mesh for hundreds of years. If it weren’t for mesh, the Middle Ages would have turned out much differently. The Crusades might not have happened, and without the Crusades, today’s healthcare and banking might look totally different.

Knights used chain mail as a protective covering as they rode into battle. Mail was created by shaping iron wire into links and then flattening them to make a mesh-like fabric. Given the labor-intensive process, only high-ranking figures could afford the protective chain mail.

The Knights Templar used chain mail during the Crusades. If the Templars had not survived, letters of credit would have never been used to move funds to and from Europe. Today, companies throughout the world continue to use letters of credit as a basis for contract negotiations.

In the same manner, the Knight Hospitallers of St. John, a military order that provided care for the sick and wounded, implemented the one patient per bed model of care. That approach to healthcare is what is seen today in every hospital in the world.

Today, the protective qualities of mesh cladding panels have been adapted to shield structures from the elements and people from adverse weather conditions. Its primary uses are to protect, enclose, support, filter, or decorate a structure. While mesh cladding has many utilitarian uses, its flexibility also enhances a building’s overall design.

Commercial Buildings

Mesh cladding is one way to break with the uniformity of commercial buildings. Manufacturing methods have expanded mesh choices to include a variety of metals, finishes, and designs. These durable metals can withstand exposure to environmental elements and still deliver an aesthetically pleasing design.

Exterior Design

Both the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and the Young Vic Theatre in London use mesh cladding as a design statement while leveraging its protective qualities against adverse weather conditions. Both implementations use the cladding as self-ventilating rain screens that can also protect against sleet or snow.

Solar Screens

Everyone wants natural lighting in office buildings, but direct sunlight can raise the interior temperature or create glare that makes it difficult for people to see. Exterior mesh cladding is especially useful in glass buildings where solar gains can make it difficult to cool the interior adequately. Louis Vuitton’s store in Singapore’s Marina Bay is an example of the artistic use of mesh cladding for a practical purpose.

Each side of a building has a different level of daylight and shading. With mesh’s flexibility, the patterns can be subtly changed to deflect sunlight or cast shadows, giving each side a customized solar screen. Adding custom lighting can enhance the artistic quality of the building at night as light is reflected differently based on the finish and size of the mesh links.

Residential Use

Mesh can be used in residential construction as a way to complement a design or to divide spaces without erecting walls. These same applications can appear in the interior design of commercial buildings where unique ceiling treatments and dividers can create a compelling environment.


Many residential spaces have basements with drop ceilings. The traditional offerings provide a grid of uniform ceiling tiles. What if those tiles could be turned into metal mesh panels. Whether panels are used alone or backed by a secondary material, they can deliver a consistent appearance without disruption for lighting, sprinkler systems, or fire alarms.

The shape, pattern, and metal can control the features of ceiling mesh. With the appropriate choices, mesh cladding panels can:

  • Disrupt sound waves to deaden noise
  • Allow sprinkler systems to be installed above the mesh without degrading their performance.
  • Incorporate lighting into the design
  • Screen HVAC construction without disrupting airflow

Mesh for ceiling applications works in a commercial environment as well as a residential space.


Decorative partitions visually divide spaces and direct traffic in homes and other residential areas. Mesh panels provide an alternative to movable partitions or permanent walls. They can even offer enhanced security if placed in front of windows.

Interior mesh partitions can visually connect different spaces while maintaining a uniform line of sight. The mesh does not impede airflow, sound, or heating and cooling. Partitions are equally effective in commercial implementations.

Public Venues

Pavilions and gazebos are two outdoor venues that can benefit from mesh cladding. The cladding can shield the space from the elements while providing air circulation and solar screening. It is also useful in outdoor dining spaces where people can enjoy the fresh air without worrying about adverse weather conditions.

Open parking garages or amphitheaters provide additional opportunities for mesh panels. They can protect the original construction from the elements without restricting airflow. Luxury parking garages can use them as screens to protect vehicles against sun, rain, and snow.

With the adaptability and flexibility of mesh cladding, designers can create visually appealing effects for even the most mundane of structures. Dealer Tire used mesh cladding to convert a vacant structure in Cleveland, Ohio, into a parking garage that blends with the surrounding area.


The open spaces in walkways or stairways may need to be enclosed for safety as well as design concerns. In these situations, mesh panels can provide a less confined enclosure. The open mesh allows air and light to pass through while providing an added sense of security. Designs in the mesh panels can give a visually mesmerizing effect to an otherwise unnoticed structure.

Mesh Cladding Panels

Metal mesh has had a significant impact on human history. This simple but versatile method of turning metal links into protective coverings saved thousands of lives over the centuries. Today, it is used to protect the interior and exterior of a building or structure. And, with modern manufacturing techniques, mesh cladding panels can be designed to turn a space into a work of art.

Mesh Cladding Panels are a cost-effective way to deliver a unique look to a new or old space. Panels are easy to commission. Contact Metalco today to learn how mesh cladding can deliver the aesthetic design and protective barrier you need for your design. We leverage years of experience to help clients design the perfect solution for their projects.


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