A lightweight canopy designed by London-based architect CarverHaggard provides a shady space for medical staff to work within the soaring glass atrium of Hopkins Architects’ Evelina Children’s Hospital.
The identity of each space within the hospital was developed in collaboration with a group of children, and the social heart of the building is the ‘Beach’ space at the base of the atrium, with potted palm trees and views onto Archbishop’s Park. CarverHaggard’s competition-winning proposal allows informal meetings to take place within this space, as well as typing up notes and other administrative tasks, freeing up space on the wards for clinical activities.
Comprising a series of seven folding scissor trusses, formed from a hybrid of laser-cut spruce plywood and light-grey machined steel components, the structure was developed with engineer Structure Workshop. It incorporates longitudinal cable-braced beams running perpendicular to the timber trusses within the same depth, to create a form of hybrid space-frame, supported on pin joints to four free-standing steel columns.
The structure is draped with a canopy of weighted strips of raw canvas which diffuse the bright light from the sky during the day, and provide a surface for uplighting in lower light conditions.
A folded screen of interlocking plywood strips creates a subtle spatial division between the workspace and the public café area.
The components were fabricated off-site and installed over a weekend to minimise disruption to users.