It Looked Good On Paper

by Don Friedman on February 11, 2016

During today’s site visit, I killed some waiting time by looking at the canopy over the railroad station:

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That’s a reasonably fancy welded-truss cantilever coming off the column to support the middle and right-hand channel purlins. (The left purlin is supported on the short cantilever of the truss top chord.) In terms of cost and ease of construction, it would have been better to simply use a small wide-flange or tube beam, so the rationale for the truss must have been aesthetic.

But the truss design didn’t take into account the appearance after the installation of speakers (the dark-gray round boxes) and lights (the light-gray square boxes), after the installation of wiring for the speakers and lights, and after the installation of the glass waiting shelters. Whatever aesthetic was planned is compromised by the functional paraphernalia of the station. In a bigger building, with a more complex appearance and with internal spaces above ceilings or behind partitions, the idea of a fancy exposed truss might have worked as intended. Here, it just looks fussy.

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