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Colorful canopy adds interest and function to funky façade

Exteriors, Features | September 1, 2007 | By:

Designed to enhance and reflect the unique quality of the building it is attached to, this dual-arch entrance canopy fulfills the sometimes-difficult conditions of pragmatic art. Manufactured and installed by Boree Canvas of Jacksonville, Fla., the canopy sits on four 3-in. schedule pipe and cantilevers over and under each other with a concave radius on each end. The 4.88m-wide canopy has a 2.4m projection and is made with Sunbrella Orange fabric from Astrup. The rather complex freestanding canopy exhibits double curvature and special detailing. The fabric is attached to a black aluminum frame with a Steel-stiched perimeter.

Project manager Kelly Schellenberger explains that the supports for the canopy were originally going to be left unpainted, but adding color gave the project more panache. “The original building has a black mullioned curtainwall that defines the front façade…[so] we suggested painting the supports a matching black to the window mullions,” he says. “The client, (Recruitmax, a computer recruiting service), was quite pleased with the results and decided to contribute to the front façade image by adding squares of orange tint to a window square here and there.”

Schellenberger used the client’s software in the design process for the double scallop shell concept. “The idea came from the client who described and drew an idea that was more like a double-curved shell—sort of like a Pringles® chip with its double curved form,” he says. “We simplified that concept to a more buildable shape of a double shell.”

Both the design and application required special engineering considerations. “This was a very intricate project,” Schellenberger says. “I put a lot of hours in on it. To minimize any cracking of the main glass façade, we placed rubber dampers between the frame of the freestanding canopy and the curtainwall mullions.”

Jake Kulju is a freelance journalist who has written about design for numerous magazines.

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