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Canopy with form and function

Exteriors | January 1, 2012 | By:

Small details make this eye institute’s canopy a work of art.

For architecture and interior design practice Tom Eliot Fisch of San Francisco, Calif., working with the shape and form of its client’s building was first and foremost on its list. The firm ended up creating an attractive, functional structure that met many requirements and overcame detailed obstacles.

The site, the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Stanford, Calif., is a LEED Silver outpatient clinic that includes four operating rooms, three laser procedure rooms, exam and diagnostic rooms, physician offices and optometry sales. Because the Byers Eye Institute was renovating, Tom Eliot Fisch (TEF) was called in to retrofit the canopy over the clinic’s entrance.

“California codes require any public facility to have a protected entrance and curb cuts [universal access],” says Alyosha Verzhbinsky, project architect on the project with TEF. “The entry is near a freeway, so it was visible from wide angle. We decided to try and reflect the design aesthetic going on inside on the outside with the curve of the canopy. What TEF created was a modified long dome canopy designed to hang from supported I beams.

“Details of how all the connections between parts were carefully considered and designed, partly because of the harsh, salty air of the nearby Pacific Ocean,” says Verzhbinsky. Fabricator Eide Industries Inc., Cerritos, Calif., used marine-grade stainless steel bolts where they are exposed and powdercoated paint on all steel parts. Eide also used PTFE fabric to cover the powdercoated frame, recessed fastening bolts and underside mounting to the existing frame. Attention to small design details such as these transformed an ordinary structure into a work of art.

In the end, Eide created a canopy with a combined coverage area of 128m2. The firm worked closely with the general contractor and complied with the architect’s artistic requirements and recommendations to complete this bold and functional vision of a canopy system.

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