A new canopy system designed by Eva Jensen Design.
CIRCLE SHADE is a new elegant and minimal canopy system that synthesizes renewal of current shade structures and portable tent concepts. It eliminates the center pole of traditional parasols, opening and closing maintenance of an umbrella, and offers an alternative to square tents while integrating counterweights as outdoor furniture.
Circle Shade is the winning project of Folly/Function 2017, an annual design/build competition in New York organized by The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park. The program called for four portable structures to populate a park environment, for adaptable use, and assembly in 10-15 minutes by one - two people.
Circle Shade in the Park
CIRCLE SHADE is designed as a Kit of Parts for simple assembly within 5 minutes. The design is based on the tripod structural concept with rigid moment-frame connections. The system consists of of a unique combination of three main components, and only 7 parts: a circular canopy, 3 tripod support poles attaching to each their cylindrical counterweight. This order allows for the circular canopy to easily connect to the poles with custom-designed high strength structural 3D printed joint nodes. These are variably detailed and interlaced with the shade membrane. The canopy pitch is set up by one short and two longer poles, and the assembly is held in place with only six quick release T-handle pins.
Kit of Parts, 3 components, only 7 parts for simple assembly in less than 5 minutes
CIRCLE SHADE is non-directional, with free open space beneath the canopy. The counterweights also serve as seat, back rest or table, and step stool during set up. The system can be installed as single or multiple units, and arranged in compelling clusters, creating dynamic playful spaces in open constellation to host a variation of events.
The structure integrates outdoor furniture, and the canopy surface offers branding options as shown with the Park’s I-beam logo. As a flexible and versatile system it has application potential in both public and private realms from parks, waterfront, education and corporate campuses to private gardens, hospitality including event installations.
With new types of outdoor recreational spaces in urban environments, and need for sun protection, Circle Shade as a canopy system offers a space to enjoy shade or sun, respite or interaction, in company or alone, with various degrees of intimacy using the counterweight seating arrangements.
Circle Shade: a canopy system incorporating outdoor furniture
To set up, the canopy is circular for ease of rolling. The ring is made up of 3 aluminum segments, joined by high strength structural 3D printed joint nodes, with each a vertical prong connecting to aluminum poles. At the base, poles slide into 3D printed brackets fastened to concrete counterweights. The poles are fixed with quick release T-handles.
The design vocabulary is minimal, composed of two fundamental geometries circle and triangle. These define the DNA in form through detail. The structural system was designed in collaboration with structural engineers. Technical considerations with high level of concern for detail was applied meticulously throughout the process. 3D-modeling and printing proved valuable tools in fabrication, and offered the opportunity for joining bespoke with high-tech customization at low cost.
Canopy with option for branding. Shown with the Sculpture Parks I-beam logo
3D Printed Joint Nodes connecting Canopy Ring Segments
allowing for Pole attachment, fixed with Quick release T-handles
Joint node with cleats for tying up canopy lace
joint node with embedded channels for lacing
Circle Shade aerial view with restful rhythms of round shadows punctuated by counterweight drum beat
CIRCLE SHADE was conceived as four mobile canopy structures. The name captures the shape of the canopy, and function it serves, including the formula for a circle’s circumference x 4, as four prototypes were initially built.
The units have been installed in Socrates Sculpture Park for months exceeding expectations and performing as designed.
The new canopy system appears as light and minimal tripod figures anchored to weighty drums lifting a circle shade radiating energy of wheel. As constellations in the landscape, playful and dynamic constellations emerge, casting restful rhythms of round shadows. Punctuated by a faster beat of cylindrical drums the assemblies appear light and airy yet grounded.
EJD Team: Eva Christine Jensen, Sushwala Hedding & David Rowan Johnson.