Canopy and Shelter Design Guide 2017

The rail system in Sydney was largely designed and built at a time when partial provision of shelter for passengers from sun and rain (and occasionally snow) was acceptable at all but major railway stations. Sydney Trains had been working for a number of years to improve weather protection at all stations. However, a focus on engineering, maintenance and constructability, together with the numerous different designers engaged, had led to the emergence of a multiplicity of canopy forms, many of which would be unattractive in any context, but were especially visually intrusive in the context of the heritage railway stations where they had been erected.

Orwell & Peter Phillips was engaged to prepare a design guide for canopies and shelters at heritage railway stations, with the purpose of encouraging good design and guiding designers towards the design and construction of canopies that could meet modern functional requirements and were also well integrated into their heritage context, to the satisfaction of both heritage authorities and the public.

One critical aspect of the task was reviewing the influence on canopy design of engineering codes and their increasingly risk-averse application by engineers, often resulting in structures that appeared manifestly overdesigned for their purpose. Orwell & Peter Phillips engaged Surface Design engineers as sub-consultants, to analyse a model canopy concept design, demonstrating that structurally adequate yet sensitive designs in a heritage context could be achieved. The design guide looked at the critical role of good detailing in matching the scale and grain of the new structures to the old, the management of connections between new and old structures, and the integration of signage and services allowing for future change.

The completed Design Guide was highly commended at the National Trust (NSW) Heritage Awards in 2017.

  • Peter Phillips
  • Suite 1504, 109 Pitt Street
    Sydney, NSW 2000
  • Tel 02 9221 8882
    Fax 02 9221 8887