Evelina Children’s Hospital

Roof Canopy, Design Proposal 2016
Location: Evelina London Children’s Hospital
Status: Invited Competition, Finalist

The internationally renown Evelina Children’s Hospital is housed in an award-winning building, designed by Hopkins Architects, completed in London in 2005. The building features a spacious conservatory with an impressive curved glazed roof. The conservatory is the social heart of the hospital and an area of particular environmental design merit.

The competition brief asked for the design of a ‘gantry’ space to be located in the conservatory with views to Archbishop’s Park. The design should define a new hot desk area for medical staff, provide power, data and lighting, and have an appropriate architectural relation to Hopkins’ building.

We proposed a light canopy with two layered arrays of roof ‘Petals’ that would notionally allude to the tree tops of the surrounding park. Soft curved plywood scoops would perform environmentally by modulating sound and daylight while they would be in spatial dialogue with the systematic architecture of Hopkins.

Our design makes use of the light-weight Mero M 12 space frame system. This versatile structural system is made up of slim modular threaded components: 30mm diameter rods, columns, braising elements and base plates. It creates a 1x1m space frame canopy with free standing columns on the periphery. The system is economical, compact to deliver and easy to erect.

Bespoke steam bent 3mm plywood components (the ‘Petals’) are added to the space-frame to compose a hovering canopy with a sculptural character. They are inserted with southern orientation to the top of the frame to create solar shading and modulate glare. ‘Hoods’ made from the same material are fixed to the bottom of the frame to add shading and depth to the pattern. The result is a rhythmic coffered-like ceiling with acoustic and visual qualities.

The perimeter screen is made up of slightly curved vertical plywood panels that continue the aesthetic of the canopy. The internal space is left free to facilitate flexibility of use.

This design is versatile and can be adapted to other sites and scales.