Agencie is designing a protective canopy structure for the historic Covent Garden. Covent Garden is one of central London’s finest public spaces. In a typical year, the bustling 97-acre Garden hosts upwards of 45million annual visitors. The canopy design maintains the vibrant pedestrian character of the market while also protecting pedestrians from overhead construction work.
A “kit of parts” was created for the sidewalk-wide component system, integrating a family of elements that include gantry frames, glazed overhead surface, scaffolding frames, planters, street furniture and LED lighting.
Formed of structural steel profiles and galvanized connection plates, the retractable units use an open-bay frame to resist the lateral movement due to wind and seismic loads.
Architecturally, the canopies compliment the Edwardian Baroque heritage of the retail district. The structure is subdued with the use of metal and glazed panels that patina over time with a tonality that timeless identity. The structures are inherently sustainable and consistent with the principles of circular economy.
The gantries are reusable and their primary function is to protect during maintenance works that prolong the life of the buildings in the Estate. The canopy system maintains the unique identity of Covent Garden while offering construction protection and legible wayfinding.
Andrés Cortés, RA
Julia Ratcliffe, PE