Circle Shade is an award-winning, innovative, elegant and portable Canopy System, designed as a Kit of Parts, for simple set up. It integrates outdoor furniture with functional versatility. Circle Shade was nominated as finalist for Architizer A+ Awards in both 2019 and 2020.
The brief called for four portable demountable structures to populate a highly active park environment, for adaptable use, and assembly in 10-15 minutes by one to two people. Size of a unit was defined for a maximum size of 8 x 8 feet. The option for integrating branding was encouraged.
The design vocabulary is minimal and refined based on the structural tripod concept. Harmonizing system with detail, the distilled composition is formed by two fundamental geometries: circle and triangle.
A single unit consists of 3 main components, and only 7 parts: 1 canopy, 3 poles and 3 cylindrical counterweights. The canopy provides for branding, and is circular, to roll for ease of mobility to set up. Assembly of a unit can be done in less than 5 minutes by 1 to 2 people.
The counterweights function as furniture: seat, back rest and tabletop, and serve as step stool during set up. Circle Shade offers space for both social interaction and distancing. It sets up as single unit or in clusters, with option for a variation of arrangements in dynamic playful constellations. Circle Shade synthesizes renewal of the umbrella shade and mobile tent structures.
It eliminates the center pole common for opening and closing parasols, and offers a flexible layout and uncluttered alternative to square tents. With the challenges of climate change, and need for protection against the sun's harmful rays, the canopy system proposes a new type of space for improved outdoor living quality.
It’s flexible and integrates with ease offering open space beneath the canopy with unobstructed views. Circle Shade is a unique mobile canopy system, that serves both the public and private realm for people to connect and engage, while offering individual respite.
Its versatile in a range of settings from parks, gardens and urban environments to pool side, waterfront including kindergartens, education campuses, residential parks, hospitality and entertainment, even accommodating a temporary space for relief effort and refuge. The system gets its name from the shape of the canopy, and the function this serves.
The structural analysis of the canopy system required methodical study of each component. All were designed with structural engineered joint connections and a meticulous concern for detail. This made it possible to achieve a high level of articulation within a cohesive design, joining bespoke with customized high-tech.
The affordability and customization capabilities of 3D printing enabled full scale iterations of structural joint nodes and brackets. Using 3D printing in fabrication proved effective and allowed for custom tailoring of each joint node. All parts fitted together beautifully.
For purpose of use in a public park the counterweights were designed as integrated elements, and cast in concrete to accommodate for weight, weather and use. Option for staking was incorporated into the interior of the concrete drum. The weight was balanced for structural purpose and safe handling by an adult.
The structural frame is fabricated in aluminum tube, as it is lightweight, rigid with strength and flexibility to accommodate for straight and curved frame elements of the tripod and canopy structure. A range of finish options are offered: high polished, powder coat or natural anodized finish.
The canopy membrane is specified in an outdoor membrane textile with a density high enough to keep the sun’s harmful rays out, while still allowing ample daylight to enter. The joint nodes and brackets are customized design and 3D printed in structural carbon with reinforced nylon.
The counterweights are fabricated in concrete with fiber aggregate, and available in a range of color options. The removable seat is CNC milled, and offered in a range of exterior grade wood. Shown in exterior grade Baltic Birch.