Retrofit Light Canopies at St. George's Ferry Terminal
SEFAR® Architecture’s TENARA® Fabric has completely transformed light canopies at the St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Paired with a new lighting system, the fabric provides an elegant, yet enduring solution for the once-obsolete canopies. Originally designed and constructed in 1996, the light canopy frames at the St. George Terminal esplanade were outdated, not only in terms of their light source, but in their surrounding materials as well. Their first iteration was comprised of an A-series light fixture with spherical acrylic housing. They became difficult to maintain and their degradation led to the need for a new type of light and a more durable material to more effectively and more beautifully transmit the light. Multiple layers of TENARA Fabric 4T40HF in a star pattern were installed around the center ‘cone’ of each of the 12 light canopies. The pattern accommodates the shape of the canopy frame, and its additional layers closer to the center post reinforce the fabric at its most tensioned spot. The retrofitted canopies now feature an induction lighting system, which is typically used for suspension bridges. The advanced system uses a polycarbonate lens and is ballasted for cooling. TENARA Fabric diffuses the light and expands in tension, cleanly billowing out above the light to fill in the canopy’s frame. Together, the TENARA Fabric and the new light source create dynamic structures that are illuminated in both a beautiful and usable way.
In the design stage, numerous lighting mock-ups were created to test various materials and applications for the light canopies. TENARA Fabric was the clear winner, excelling in translucency, color temperature, and resilience.
The project team included designer and engineer FTL Design Engineering Studio, New York, NY, tensile fabric membrane, custom hardware and installation by Eventscape, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, lighting designer Leni Schwendinger, and the New York City Department of Transportation.