Periscope Canopy

  • 2022

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Commissioned By:

Lane Cove Council

Designed In:


PERISCOPE CANOPY is a functional centrepiece and iconic gateway to a major urban renewal of the commercial core of Lane Cove in Sydney, Australia. The canopy’s sweeping form and mirrored-shingle underside creates a ‘periscope’ that visually connects subterranean supermarkets and parking with a public park, playground and eating precinct above.

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Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
Image: Hamish McIntosh
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  • Periscope canopy is primarily about placemaking and as such performs numerous roles and overcomes multiple design challenges. It is a landmark, a gateway, an iconic centrepiece and a symbol of rejuvenation. It is a shelter from the sun and rain. It is a wayfinding apparatus. It lives between buildings of different styles and from different eras; elegantly and coherently unifying the precinct. Achieving all of the above while ensuring visitors that arrive via the car park to visit the anchor-store supermarkets — all underground — are enticed upward to the park and restaurant district was the key challenge.

  • Periscope Canopy derives its name from the over 1000 mirrored shingles that adorn its underside. In concert with the canopy’s sweeping form, the roof quite literally allows people to see around corners and from below ground to above. By making desired and desirable destinations visible we addressed the key challenge of drawing visitors from the subterranean car park and supermarkets to the public domain above. Periscope Canopy is an experiential amplifier increasing the vitality of everyday life and the drama of our own and others’ movements. It spans the pragmatic to the poetic.

  • Periscope Canopy has contributed significantly to the vitality of Lane-Cove and its iconic beauty has been widely embraced by the community. The canopy coherently unifies, excites and amplifies everyday life within the rejuvenated commercial precinct and attracts visitors and business from across the city. It also offers an impactful demonstration of the way computational design tools can enable unique, memorable and highly site-specific outcomes within the realities of commercial budgets and timelines.

  • The beautifully free-flowing roof consists of approximately 1000 mirrored shingles and two durable ETFE skylights. Despite its seemingly complex shape, only 20 different sized polished tiles were required to cover the roof’s underside, demonstrating the skilled use of custom-written design optimisation algorithms by the architects. Similarly, the pneumatic cushion ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) skylight, offers an intelligent, highly durable, translucent and extremely lightweight solution that adapts more easily to the complex forms when compared with a glass structure. Originally developed as an inert coating material for the aerospace industry, The two-layered skylight will provide UV light transmission to support the green wall plant growth and mitigate sound reverberation in the central space.