Manchester Metrolink

Tensile Canopy

Just a stone’s throw from the Etihad Stadium, home to Man City Football Club, Manchester Metrolink station is following the growing trend for using fabric as a building medium to provide creative lighting and shelter for passengers.

The Challenge

Shelter and lighting were the main criteria for designing the lozenge-shaped tensile fabric platform canopies. DEK Architects’ vision for 2 ‘flying saucer’ like structures illuminating the platform, needed to comply with rail safety regulations as well as provide ambient and practical lighting for passengers. The light source had to be contained within the fabric structures to prevent night glare, which could distract train drivers. Internal drainage to catch water run-off, was also crucial to maintaining the visual impact of the platform shelter.

The Solution

Fabric Architecture designed and engineered the 1000m2 structure in house, allowing crucial loading information for the foundations to be given to the main contractor at a very early stage of the project.

By constructing a series of bow trusses, the fabric was applied to the upper and lower chords, terminating in a ring beam that doubled up as a structural gutter. This allowed internal rainwater drainage and avoided unsightly drainpipes.

Project Specifications
ClientMPACT (Laing O’Rourke / VolkerRail Limited joint venture)
LocationManchester, UK
ArchitectDEK Architects, Leicester
ContractorLaing O’Rourke

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