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 45 million annual visitors. The canopy design maintains the market’s vibrant pedestrian character while protecting pedestrians from overhead construction work.
A “kit of parts” was created for the sidewalk-wide component system, integrating elements that include gantry frames, glazed overhead surfaces, scaffolding frames, planters, street furniture, and LED lighting.
The retractable units, formed of structural steel profiles and galvanized connection plates, use an open-bay frame to resist lateral movement due to wind and seismic loads.
Architecturally, the canopies complement the Edwardian Baroque heritage of the retail district. The structure uses metal and glazed panels that patina over time, resulting in a subdued tonality with a timeless identity. It is inherently sustainable and consistent with the principles of a 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