Span Systems Inc. Manchester, NH

Project Details

Fabric 1

Sheerfill II
Producer: Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics
Supplier: Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics

Engineer Company 1
Span Systems Inc.

Design Company
Charlotte Area Transit

Fabrication Company
Span Systems Inc.

Subcontractor Company
Edison Foard

Project Manager Company
Span Systems Inc.

Installation Company
Span Systems Inc.

Please describe the project specifications

These are ten custom PTFE tensile structures designed as unique platform furnishings for the 9th Street Station of the LYNX Blue Line light rail in Charlotte NC. They cover over 2600 sq. ft. of total plan area. There are five canopy structures on each platform and the structures are composed of three separate designs, one primarily for ticket vending and the others for shade and shelter.

What was the purpose of this project? What did the client request?

The project, and its use of Tensile Membrane, was envisioned to provide this important transit node with a unique identity and look that set it apart from other stations along the line. The basic concept provided for asymmetrical roof forms in shapes not typical for tensile structures. This would provide the visual interest and artistic appearance desired for the station. This combined with the desire to provide these typical passenger amenities results in a one-of-a-kind rail station.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The asymmetrical roof shapes desired are created with multiple rolled steel members with compound radii. There was also radial fabric patterning specified, to provide the look desired which proved to be challenging. The roof shapes are not optimal for tensile fabric and the patterning required created challenges for fabrication and installation. In addition to the asymmetry each platform's structures are arranged in a mirror image, left-hand/right-hand symmetry of the canopies themselves creating further design and installation challenges.

What were the results of the project?

The project successfully executed the artist's vision for this project creating the roof shapes exactly as envisioned. The station has a design-forward appearance which sets it apart from other light rail stops along the line and makes it instantly recognizable. It displays the extremes of roof shapes that are available to the designer using tensile fabric.

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