Tachkemoni Canopies, Antwerp (B)

As part of the renovation of a school in the centre of Antwerp, Laurent Ney designed two canopies in collaboration with architect Chris Poulissen: a small one for the kindergarten and a larger one for the primary school. In this urban environment the school is part of a closed street block with housing and public amenities.

The client’s brief stated that the canopies, envisaged as traditional transparent roofs, had to cover part of the playground. The design of a glazed or transparent roof is far too often conceived as the addition of a series of elements, fulfilling only one function. In this analytical design approach the glass shelters people from the rain and lets the light in, the glass slats connect all the elements together, the beams carry the weight and transfer the loads to the columns and further to the foundations. The Tachkemoni canopies were not conceived to be yet another accumulation of horizontal and vertical sub-elements but to be a quest for an object that expresses structural unity. One element – the canopy – should fulfill all the functions at the same time. This holistic approach led to the simultaneous design of a shelter and a structural surface element.

Design: 1998

Execution: 2001

Designer: NP-BRIDGING

Client: Vzw Tachkemoni

Structure: NP-BRIDGING

Contractor: Moeskops

Location: Antwerp (B)

Status: executed

Credits copyright: NP-BRIDGING, Jean-Luc Deru