One of these key urban elements is the tunnel portal canopies. EDAW AECOM has designed three distinctive sculptural canopies to reflect and celebrate the natural assets of South East Queensland. The organic free flowing forms are a direct response to the sheltering canopies of Brisbane’s expansive subtropical shade trees and they address the specific context, geometry and orientation conditions of each entry approach.
The portal canopies meet the project’s technical brief to provide safe transitional lighting for motorists as they enter and exit the tunnel. Mimicking the protection of shade trees, the canopies filter sunlight penetration onto the roadways. Metal louvers set within the openings in the canopies control and soften the penetration of daylight at the tunnel entrances.
Supported by complex rolling steel trusses, the canopies are clad in metallic copper coloured architectural panels. These structures are one piece of the tunnel approach compositions which comprise canopy, trough walling and lighting treatments.
At night the structures are washed with coloured light which enhances the copper tones of the metal panels. Blue energy efficient LED lights highlight the metal ribbons on the trough walls. The combination of these effects will provide dramatic journey highlights for the tunnel users.
The design of the canopies takes the integration of architecture and infrastructure to a new level. These structures will create fitting iconic signatures for this vital infrastructure project.