Constructed in weathered steel, steel cable and yellow cedar, the parabolic canopy fulfills many functions. It acts as a giant trellis for white chocolate akebia, a flowering climber that will eventually overtake the structure as it grows, and doubles as a theatrical set piece for the park - a natural stage for events, performances, and happenings. It was designed to attract insects, birds, and bees, creating a microecology system. Three ovoid openings offer slices of sky and opportunities for airplane and eagle viewings. The design was inspired by the low elevation of the Richmond floodplain and the highly sedimented tidal flow of the Fraser.
Challenges and achievements
Tekla's ability to import many different model types, from the sculpture system, to the wood elements, and the cable system is what ultimately proved successful to this project. One of the challenges on this project was deciding where and how to create the shop splices for each assembly. The sculpture was divided into four shop-welded assemblies before being welded together in the final configuration.
Using Tekla software
The most important Tekla tool we used on the project was the "Solid 2 Plates" macro found in the Tekla Warehouse. This tool reads the faces of solid objects that are created in the model and creates contour plates on top of each face. Once we had converted the artist's model to Tekla items, we were able to convert all of the shaped plates to contour plates in a few minutes. This saved countless hours of manually selecting thousands of work points to create the custom shapes.