19 November 2023
4 min read
In 1200 BC, chainmail stands as the ultimate in-body armour technology. Exclusively used by royalty, nobility, and those safeguarding the crown, the armoured vests protect the body during fierce battles. The exclusivity was due to its costly and challenging production, a single shirt of hand-forged iron links could take an entire lifetime for its maker to complete.
Fast forward to the end of 20th Century and the set of “Lord of the Rings.” Kayne Horsham, the film's creature, armour, and weapons art director is tasked with outfitting the lead actors in a lightweight and flexible adaptation of the ancient chainmail. While these armoured garments were by no means an overnight realisation, the creation of these exceptional vests marked the birth of what is now known as ‘Kaynemaile’.
Kaynemaile may have initially found its roots within the ranks of feature films, however, these days the brand has become more commonly featured in leading architectural applications.
The initial version of polycarbonate chain rings was devised more than two decades ago. Since then, the techniques for development and manufacturing have advanced significantly, resulting in the highly coveted architectural product that now exists.
From that initial proof of concept through to today, Kaynemaile continues to be made right here in Petone, New Zealand. Kaynemaile's Kiwi ingenuity and can-do attitude have been invaluable assets since the inception of this remarkable lightweight architectural mesh. General Manager of Kaynemaile Ltd Aaron Te One talks of their leap into the highly competitive US Market, “We wanted to get a foot in the door and stay the night”. And stay the night they have!
Kaynemaile has been making significant waves in America’s highly competitive car parking garage market. Crafting beautiful and distinctive exterior designs is a key feature of many of their car park exteriors. The mesh is strong, yet flexible enough to cover frames that can feature complex designs, making it a perfect application for multi-storied exteriors. The architectural mesh also helps keep buildings cool by offering great ventilation and optimal shade from the sun. Kaynemaile’s colours are built into the polycarbonate, ensuring the colour won’t fade in sunlight.
These days the company is also enjoying working in new areas of interior design and collaboration. Working together with Warren and Mahoney for One NZ’s new flagship Christchurch retail store required a considered approach. Taking into account the colour reflected in the newly branded company, Kaynemaile was able to match the brand colour in a translucent mesh allowing the final woven design to highlight the brand’s lush green through the light-framed sculpture draping effortlessly in the foyer.
Kaynemaile is also having a big impact on the international hospitality market. Its lightweight nature - the rings weigh in at a featherweight 3 kilos per square metre, vast colour palette and ease of construction make this architectural mesh widely sought after in Europe, the Middle East and the US.
A recent project known only as ‘Project Varsity’, showcases their Water Clear mesh, allowing light to pass through as well as lighting effects to be used with the design. ‘Project Varsity’ sits in the hallowed halls of a very well-known search engine’s headquarters in Atlanta.
While the company are flying high on the international market, Aaron says they love to work on New Zealand projects whenever possible. Collaborative work with architects and designers, building unique creations in unexpected places, reflects the versatility of the product.
Installations providing spatial divisions in both interior and exterior applications are a unique way to offer a division of elegant privacy while not blocking light.
Artistic installations are also a feature of Kaynemaile’s versatile nature. The reception area of Christchurch’s Crowne Plaza designed by Naomi Rushmer and Designworks has been given a highly sculptural treatment with a rich bronze shade of Kaynemaile weaving its way from the entrance to wrap the lobby in a golden glow.
While the product itself glimmers, the ethos of Kaynemaile shines through formidably with its continued focus on the environment. At the beginning of June this year, Kaynemaile announced it was transitioning all production to a brand new bio-based raw material and launched its new RE/8™ bio-circular architectural mesh. Kaynemaile’s new RE/8 has achieved a remarkable carbon footprint reduction of up to 80% over the previous base material.
This dedication to recycling and sustainability has secured them the prestigious ISCC Plus (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) grading. The classification ensures their mesh is entirely traceable, sustainable, recyclable, and environmentally friendly, which is remarkable considering the company works exclusively with a plastic-based product.
Kaynemaile's extraordinary fusion of innovation, artistry, and environmental stewardship continues to redefine possibilities within architectural design, leaving an indelible mark on the industry's landscape.
Learn more about Kaynemaile.