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Structure shades a transit station

Case Studies, Exteriors, Features | May 1, 2013 | By:

A Knoxville, Tenn., transit complex creates a focused center—complete with shade.

The John J. Duncan Jr. Knoxville Station Transit Center, located in downtown Knoxville, Tenn., serves as the city’s major transportation hub to more than 3.5 million passengers a year. Built over James White Parkway on an overpass, the Station serves as a link between the central core of the city and the eastern civic fringe.

Designed by McCarty Hosaple McCarty in a joint venture with Bullock Smith & Partners, the Knoxville Station Transit Center’s simple modern architectural language and materials aesthetically bridge the historical form of an adjacent church and nearby mid-20th Century modernist civic buildings.

Home to 80 city buses, numerous para-transit vehicles and downtown trolleys for the city, the center also serves the greater Knoxville metropolitan area. The main station includes 20 bus bays at a central protected platform, a trolley stop at the front door and transit rider amenities such as bathrooms, a service counter and vending machines.
To adequately shade passengers, three structures were created for three areas: the main bus station, the waiting area and the trolley stop, each with a unique structural concept incorporating tensioned fabric.

Foundations for the tensile structures are integral with the overpass bridge that the project sits on. Span Systems Inc. fabricated the shade structures to incorporate the movements of the bridge as well as final reaction load limits that had to stay within the limitations of the existing foundations. PTFE fabric was the fabric of choice; galvanized A603 cables and high performance, 3-part epoxy paint were used on all three structures.

The project received a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable design in new construction.

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