Creating a kaleidoscopic canopy
Designed by FOROOM architects, the new Piotrkowska Street Tram Stop is a striking and elegant addition to the historical city centre of Łódź. The project was originally conceived as a steel structure, featuring an intricate geometry and incorporating a roof constructed from panels of coloured glass.
BuroHappold Engineering was enlisted to help realise the architect’s complex vision and deliver an optimised final product. The abstract and experimental nature of the plans submitted by FOROOM presented our team with many challenges, requiring innovative engineering solutions to bring the architect’s plans to life.
Using our advanced understanding of sophisticated modelling techniques, we were able to create an accurate parametric 3D model of the structure. This flexible and time efficient design approach enabled our team to experiment with form and find the ideal solution to achieving the complex geometries of the design.
A significant part of the brief was to establish the most efficient material to cover the roof of the structure. We proposed the use of single layer ETFE foil instead of the glass panels originally proposed. This innovative, highly translucent fabric offers the benefit of being lighter, more operable and more cost efficient than glass.
At approximately 1% the weight of glass, ETFE foil also ensures that the integrity of the delicate structure will not be compromised by the load bearing down upon it. Another characteristic of this material is that it has a high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range, making it an ideal solution to resist Poland’s freezing winters.
The Warsaw team drew upon BuroHappold’s international experience, collaborating with specialists from Bath and Los Angeles, to introduce ETFE in Poland for the first time. The Piotrkowska Street Tram Stop is an excellent example of how complex design can be achieved with the right materials, the right tools and the right people.
Services and approach
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