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52 PROJECT REPORT: TRANSPORT FACILITIES & PUBLIC REALM


© Frame Focus Capture


© Frame Focus Capture ABOVE The Sleeperz hotel occupies upper levels


refurbished circulation, also designed by Nicoll Russell Studios. As well as designing a large diagrid rooflight over the escalators and new tiled walls, they also squeezed the minimum size of escalator kit between the two retained Victorian columns which hold the existing metal roof up, as well a through-lift alongside. “We were trapped between two existing platform edges, which could not be adjusted,” says Steel. “We had to go for the narrowest lift, escalators and stair that Network Rail would accept.”


The cafe has a first floor balcony looking into the triple-height space but also an external south-facing one, allowing passengers to sit outside overlooking the Tay and the V&A. While it will lift them above the traffic somewhat, it also gives the “certain kind of buzz” inherent to such a busy urban location, says Steel.


Passive approach With the architects aware that a large area of south west-facing glazing to a concourse could create an “unacceptable level of solar gain at certain times of the year,” a passive ventilation strategy was adopted to offset this. A thermal model confirmed this supposition, and Nicoll Russell suggested that because of the arched shape of the space, this could be mitigated by venting the concourse at high level with a stack effect passive vent that ascends through the hotel levels.


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© Frame Focus Capture


Running the length of the concourse ceiling is a damper consisting of a louvre grill, which opens automatically when the air temperature hits a prescribed level. “If necessary, the main sliding doors will open automatically, providing make-up air to encourage the stack effect to take place,” comments Steel. In addition, the concourse’s single-glazed bolted fin glazing has a dot pattern screen printed onto it, to further reduce solar gain and glare. There are also standard ‘Colt’ type louvres within the terracotta cladding to front and rear, providing further natural ventilation to the concourse space. To avoid a “big box of plant sitting on the roof,” the plant serving the hotel and cafe are hidden in the space between the arch and the underside of the hotel.


Conclusion


This is an unusual scheme in many respects, yet its form partly results from tackling a set of challenges that are common to many other rail projects. These include remedying previous and unsatisfactorily ad hoc solutions, and dealing with complex geometries. The result is what the project architect calls an “organic shape,” which makes a virtue of this in addressing its city and the rescued waterfront which it helps provide a link to. It is a fitting terminus to both railway journeys to what is a revitalised Dundee, and a new and exciting urban quarter. 


ADF FEBRUARY 2019


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