Brisbane's first major road tunnel opens, sporting distinctive shade canopies
Brisbane’s newest major infrastructure project – the CLEM7 – was officially opened last week. As the city's first major road tunnel, the opening saw a large amount of media attention, specifically focussed on a series of three distinctive canopy structures conceived by AECOM’s Design + Planning team for Brisbane City Council.
AECOM Associate Director James Dorrat said the canopies for the CLEM7 tunnel were designed to be iconic while also functional for tunnel users. “The canopies’ distinctive sculptural design and flowing forms mimic the protection of Brisbane’s expansive subtropical shade trees,” said Mr Dorrat. “Metal louvres set within the structures filter sunlight, transitioning motorists’ eyes as they enter the tunnel.” Each canopy is supported by complex rolling steel trusses covered in metallic copper -coloured architectural panels which have been individually cut and fitted to match the complex curves. At night the canopies are washed with coloured light which enhances the copper tones of the metal panels.
The largest of the canopies, located at Bowen Hills on Brisbane’s north side, is made up of 2,000 unique pieces and weighs 230 tonnes. AECOM Principal Mark Fuller hopes the canopies become a long-lasting legacy of Brisbane’s design expertise and the city’s forward-thinking approach. “The CLEM7 canopies exemplify Brisbane’s maturing urban landscape and AECOM is proud to have contributed so strongly to such a significant project,” said Mr Fuller.
The CLEM7 is the first component of Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman’s TransApex vision for Brisbane City Council. RiverCity Motorway contracted the design and construction of the tunnel to Leighton Contractors and the Baulderstone Hornibrook Bilfinger Berger Joint Venture (LBB JV). AECOM and Parsons Brinckerhoff teamed as lead designers of the CLEM7 tunnel, while AECOM’s Design + Planning team provided specific architectural, landscape and urban design for the project, including the design of the entry canopies