Project Name: Conics Canopy
Location: Lexington, Massachusetts
Scope: Design of a freestanding canopy, 2009
The design brief for a canopy was to provide shelter to the front drive of a house designed by H. H. Richardson. Rather than mimic the existing gabled geometries of the articulated roofscape and draw unfavourable attention, conic sections were deployed for their properties. Conics generate curvatures that are flat and therefore easy to bend in steel pipe, and of a profile (parabolic, hyperbolic, ellipsoidal) that is inherently strong as compressive load is shared along its length to the foundation. More importantly, these curves were discovered to be shallow and therefore less intrusive to the existing house. Light polycarbonate panels were selected as cladding for their ease of fabrication and translucency to maintain views of the house. The arcs of the free-spanning pavilion come down to the earth in only four points, and they allow for maximum views outwards to the property.
Hanif Kara (structural engineer)
Anthony DiMari (model)