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Eye-catching entrance shade canopy acts as sales tool

Exteriors | January 1, 2010 | By:

A south Florida awning company takes its own advice and installs a new entrance shade canopy; customers take notice

The main purpose of the tensioned-fabric canopy above the entrance to Hoover Canvas Products Co., of West Palm Beach, Fla., is to catch the eye of passing motorists. It works; people began taking notice soon after the canopy went up.

Additional functions also are served, such as expressing a range of possibilities for designing with fabric. “We wanted to show potential clients a number of different methods of construction and so designed the canopy to include several ideas,” says Jim Carroll Jr., president of the family-owned awning company. Two tensioned triangular pieces flank a more traditional framed canopy, acting like flying wings. These two colorful elements—or “sails” in industry parlance—shout out their nautical heritage with steel clamping plates at each point of the triangles, giving a sense of energy and movement to the entryway composition. Fabrication of the sails is consistent with standard tension structure detailing with stainless steel edge cables held in place by sewn pockets and terminated with threaded tensioning ends welded to the clamping plates to properly tighten the edges. The clamping plates are attached to anchor points at the top of two splayed columns and at points on the façade.

A more traditional framed canopy is tucked under the two sails, its gently arched front truss supported by the two splayed columns. Fabric is held taught against the curved truss and guyed back to the building with more tensioned cables, but in this case the cables are exposed and the fabric edges are fastened to the cables with rings spaced evenly along the length of each cable. The front edge of the canopy is laced to the top cord of the arched truss, and the top edge that meets the building façade is clamped to the building by a luff track to make it watertight above the entry doors.

Thus, says Carroll, in this one structure clients can find many kinds of fabrication methods that Hoover has successfully executed, a handy sales tool and a full-size prototype for future projects.

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