Innovative Curved Canopies Protect Bus Passengers at Ole Miss

Photo: Mike Stanton Photography

Photo: Mike Stanton Photography

When the University of Mississippi decided to renovate and expand the bus shelter area near Kennon Observatory on its Oxford, Miss., campus, an architecture firm and a manufacturer teamed up to design two striking curved glass canopies to protect passengers.

Duo-Gard, based in Canton, Mich., collaborated with a team from Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects + Engineers in Jackson, Miss., to develop the plans. Located side by side, the canopies measure 11 feet by 92 feet and 11 feet by 61 feet, and their curvature reflects the transit loop area.

The project also had some interesting and challenging design goals, according to team leader Clark H. Wells, an architect on the project. “Certainly we wanted the bus structures to protect students, but we also wanted them to blend in with existing campus architecture, which has a historic uniform look of brick and metal,” Wells says. “We wanted the structures to disappear, and they are the first buildings like this at Ole Miss.”

Photo: Mike Stanton Photography

Photo: Mike Stanton Photography

Wells achieved the desired “disappearing act” by constructing the roofs with glass. “They fade into the sky, becoming less obtrusive than other options, and so the structures don’t detract from the site’s visual appeal,” Wells notes.

Duo-Gard engineered the architect’s custom design with half-inch-thick glass, which includes a vandal-resistant film. Duo-Gard also provided steel columns and structure from its in-house fabrication facility. The system was installed by Murphy & Sons, headquartered in Southaven, Miss. Each of the panels is 5 feet by 10 feet and weighs 350 pounds.