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We worked with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners on the design of the canopy roof for the new Santa Maria del Pianto underground station in Naples.

The 2,300m2 canopy roof for the station will consist of a honeycomb structure made of vertical steel plates. The arrangement of the honeycomb elements has been optimised using a cutting-edge evolutionary algorithm to maximise daylight penetration in the station shaft and provide some degree of shading on the lift platform at ground level whilst being structurally efficient.

In design, having numerous conflicting objectives is the rule rather than the exception. Evolutionary optimisation is well suited to tackle design tensions between different drivers. This was one of the first real-life applications of those techniques on a project of this scale.

Buildability and costs have also been carefully considered. Each steel plate element will be machine-cut from digital information.

Ed McCann
Andrew Weir
Fred Labbé

Client: Metropolitana di Napoli
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Status: Design Completed 2009

Santa Maria del Pianto metro, Naples