Spherical mirrors with a variable radius of curvature are used inside laser resonators as well as in the beam path between the laser and the workpiece. Commercially-available systems use piezoelectric actuators, or the pressure of the coolant, to deform the mirror surface. In both cases, the actuator and the cooling system influence each other. This interaction is avoided through the integration of the cooling system with the flexible mirror membrane. A multi- channel design leads to an optimized cooling effect, which is necessary for high power applications. The contour of the variable metal mirror depends on the mounting between the membrane and the mirror body and on the distribution of forces. Four cases of deformation can be distinguished for a circular elastic membrane. The realization of an adaptive metal mirror requires a technical compromise to be made. A mechanical construction is presented which combines an elastic hinge with the inlet and outlet of the coolant. For the deformation of the mirror membranes two actuators with different character of deformation are used. The superposition of the two deformations results in smaller deviations from the spherical surface shape than can be achieved using a single actuator. DC proportional magnets have been introduced as cheap and rigid actuators. The use of this adaptive mirror, either in a low pressure atmosphere of a gas laser resonator, or in an extra-cavity beam path is made possible through the use of a ventilation system.