Duo-Gard’s Translucent Canopies Lend Landmark Status to CTA’s 95th Street Terminal

As public transit gains increasing importance, Duo-Gard is proud to point out its contributions to many prominent projects. One outstanding example is the Chicago Transit Authority’s $280 million-dollar 95th Street Terminal.

Massive translucent canopies engineered and fabricated by Duo-Gard shelter the entire perimeters of the terminal’s two structures. Constructed with Duo-Gard’s high-performance Series 2500 Sloped System, the system’s proprietary aluminum framing integrates glazing of 20mm translucent multiwall polycarbonate in an opal tint.

CTA’s 95th Street Terminal includes the South Station’s new construction opened in early 2018, and the North Station’s major renovation opened in early 2019. The two structures are connected by a heated, glass-enclosed pedestrian bridge, an amenity appreciated by 20,000 daily commuters who transfer between buses and trains.

The canopies’ V-shaped, inverse-sloping wings lead to a gutter system designed to maximize drainage and prevent leaks. The entire system is designed for ease of installation, according to Joe Furton, architectural services engineering manager. “This high-performance system is repeatable and lends itself well to large expanses,” he said.

Furton said Duo-Gard’s team engineered special expansion joints to accommodate the corners in the canopies and designed different versions of extrusions to fit the numerous penetrations for lights in the 20mm batten glazing system.

Because the project was split into two phases, one of the major challenges involved maintaining consistent coordination with general contractor Pinto Construction and architect EXP, said Furton: “Close collaboration is one of Duo-Gard’s strengths that lead to our success.”

Obviously, the architectural rectangles at 916 linear feet for the South Station and 1,082 for the North Station are striking elements in the design. The translucent polycarbonate glazing provides not only protection from Chicago’s climate, but also a high degree of diffused natural light during the day and illuminates the terminal’s landmark status at night.

“The canopies are one of the terminal’s most prominent design features, complementing the entire structure,” said David Miller, Duo-Gard’s president. “The visual properties of the polycarbonate encourage people to enjoy the beauty of the canopies as they benefit from the performance.”

Photo Credit: James Steinkamp Photography