Urban Canopy (Anywhere, Competition)

Urban Canopy Idea Sketches INVERTUrban Canopy Section DiagramUrban Canopy DaytimeUrban Canopy Nighttime

The oldest shelter from the elements that human uses is a tree canopy. When a tree canopy is wide enough, a few people can gather to converse, socialize and exchange thoughts. Sunbrella products have the potential to do exactly the same in an urban setting to invigorate unused open space in the city. A simple canopy protecting from the elements is, of course, not enough to animate those seeking shelter under it, but, if the canopy can do more than just a shelter, a more meaningful gathering could happen. This is what we propose as a design solution.

The proposed design uses Sunbrella fabric combined with steel framing to create a dynamic form and to function as a motorized retractable projection screen, backdrop for stage, or advertisement surface, allowing the canopy to be a place for open air movie theater, music concert, or other events. The dynamic form of the canopy can be adjusted based on the weather conditions whether it is used to block the prevailing wind, to protect from the sun, or to drain the rain water away. To further enhance and animate the space, swing seats using Sunbrella fabric hung from the main structure, hanging plants, banners, and many others can be added.

With variety of activities that can be planned under the canopy, the space becomes continually used day and night, enliven the street and neighborhood. It provides eyes on the street as a basic ingredient to keep the city safe and a place where people can gather, converse, socialize, and express themselves. In short, it becomes a democratic space.

As a freestanding structure, this canopy can be inserted into an empty lot within an urban context or simply set on an open park.



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