NMBS Train Station Canopy

The canopy: The composition seeks to offer maximum comfort for the travelers : sheltering from wind and rain, abundance of daylight, easy readability of the functions and of the numerous signs, acoustic absorption of the traffic noise, etc.

The recyclability, easy assembly and dismantlement of the components are carefully taken into account, along with their durability and easy maintenance.

In an ecological perspective, optimal use of the matter is sought in the structural principles in order to achieve load bearing with minimal dead weight.

The primary structure: The primary structure of the platform canopy rests on 25 tubular piles made of four inclined columns in the central part of the canopy, and three inclined columns on its perimeter where the loads are asymmetrical. The inclined columns meet at 7m13 above the level of the rails. The supports of the high voltage cables are attached to the piles at their junction. Springing from the piles, the primary structure of the canopy consists in twenty longitudinal parabolic twin steel arches. Each arch is composed of worked HEA-section. The sections are cut in half longitudinally and pre-bent in the workshop. The pre-bent half-sections are connected with welded steel plates of variable height (30 to 50cm) in response to the variation of the strains alongside the span. On site, the twin arches are set symmetrically at an angle of 17°10’ with the vertical plane of the supports, and joined every 3,25m to increase their lateral stiffness.
The metal structure is designed so that movement, expansion and contraction under the influence of climatic conditions, is dealt with by the material itself. In this manner, no superfluous amount of material is wasted to stiffen the structure more than required by the loads.

The secondary structure and cover: A parabolic pre-formed steel decking spans transversally between the primary arches, supporting the insulation and the aluminium roof cladding. To prevent undercooling condensation, the insulation is pressed between the steel decking and the profiled aluminium strips.

Stretching in between the vaults over each set of twin arches, glazed lens-shaped openings provide natural daylight. Longitudinally, the space between two consecutive vaults is left open for natural ventilation. Lowered glass roofs that “float” below the steel decking with a short overlap insure sheltering while maximising light intake. The extremities of the canopy are made of expanded steel sheets, which reduces the air turbulence of incoming or passing trains, as well as the influence of wind on the structure.

The footbridge: In answer to the continuity and discontinuity issue, a wood-surfaced steel footbridge and a pedestrian underground walkway connect the two station banks, guiding the traffic effortlessly from one part of town to the other. The 7m wide footbridge is divided into pedestrian and bicycle lanes.
As large lanterns posted on the platforms, five glazed lift shafts draw the daylight through the canopy into the covered space, literally setting the footbridge into the spotlight.

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