Owners Pace Bus Company and the City of Bridgeview, IL, wanted the station standing opposite the Chicago Fire Soccer Club’s arena to feature backlit translucent panels in official club colors – red and white.
The challenge for the designers was attaching panels to the canopy while integrating an LED lighting system. Maintenance was another a concern. City personnel needed to be able to service the interior cavity easily. The City also wanted the panels to look like they were floating atop the brick structure. The specified panel manufacturer was unable to meet design requirements, and the project faced potential setbacks ahead of the team’s 2019 season kick-off.
Chicago-based Studio ARQ Architects turned to Kingpsan Light +Air | CPI Daylighting for a translucent panel solution that could meet all of their needs.
The Kingspan Light + Air Solution
Kingspan Light + Air designers engineered and built a 3,180-sq.-ft. translucent wall panel system, with a 7-ft.-tall cavity and roof hatch allowing city maintenance personnel easy access inside. The red matte and ice white matte translucent panels are held together by a concealed aluminum support system, without the need for a large structural joint. Apart from the panel perimeter, there is no exposed aluminum. Made up of small internal cells that help improve the quality and balance distrubiton of glare-free light with a special UV inhibitor, the panels feature superior durability and prolonged resistance to impact. Designed with a mechanically interlocking double-tooth connection, the panels are also removable for maintenance and replacement as necessary.
In addition to the panel features, Kingspan Light + Air designers knew that when red and white panels are joined and backlit without creating separation between the two, light could easily bounce through the red and tint the white panels pink – something the owners didn’t want.
To prevent this, Kingspan Light + Air designers created an angle inside of the cavity, placing the light fixtures and back-end support structure a few feet away from the glazing. This allowed the Chicago Fire Club red and white to remain bold, vibrant and seperate.
“Another concern we had was insects crawling into the panels,” said Jose Espejo, Project Manager, Studio ARQ, Chicago. “When I saw the panels delivered to the site, I saw that Kingspan had put an aluminum screen guard on the edges that allows the panels to breathe, but also prevents unwanted creatures from crawling in there and creating black spots.”
With a clear balance of color throughout the floating structure, the new SeatGeek Stadium Transit Center is a focal point for area visitors and soccer fans alike, providing an additional means of transportation, illuminated with a splash of Chicago Fire pride.