By studying the solstice solar angles, Benjamin Hall and Brent Vander Werf’s research project, Fishman Shade Canopy, creates a site specific geometric strategy where the canopy provides 100% shade while maintaining a visual opacity. This prototype builds upon experiments conducted throughout Hall’s Capstone project at the University of Arizona, a few years ago. After developing a warp and weft system of structural shade members, the next step of the project was to manifest those findings in a full-scale built project.
The wooden components’ angels and orientations are adjusted to precisely respond to the latitude of the specific project’s site. This strategy guarantees full shade, and the design does not hinder views of the sky or landscape.
Within three weeks, the firm designed and built the structure. With one week spent digitally modeling the entire structure and existing residence, surveying the site to establish a point of latitude for solar analysis, and pricing and ordering materials, the two remaining weeks were reserved for the construction and finishing phases.
At the end of those short weeks, the canopy, constructed of 66 1X12s and resting upon columns of 4×4 lumber, extended 20′ from the corner of the residence to follow the lines of the sinuous patio pavers below. The interlocking wood members create a redundant slab-like structure of individual members to resist the force of bending associated with loading conditions. The canopy will be perfect for the residences to enjoy the spectacular event of sun spots which will appear for 5 minutes marking the date of the highest solar angle.
All wood materials were specifically selected and purchased from local lumber mills and distributors within 10 miles of the site who in turn provide and promote sustainable harvesting and regrowth practices of Redwood trees throughout California.
Fishman Shade Canopy Credits:
Client: Fishman Family
Design / Build Team: Benjamin Hall & Brent Vander Werf
Location: Palo Alto, California | Completed: August 2009