High school playground gets space-age canopy
The construction of a new school building for the Royal Athenaeum of Ans in the Belgian village of Alleur was accompanied by the installation of a large, strikingly shaped steel canopy, 20 metres long by 4.5 metres wide, and with an imposing mass that subtly culminates in a single support. The horizontal and vertical parts of the canopy (the roof and support respectively) are designed as a single geometry with – thanks to the concealment of assembly points, rainwater collection and drainage – an austere and almost abstract appearance. The dimensioning of the canopy is based on the principle of a welded steel portico in which the rod that serves as the canopy edge doubles up as the load-absorbing girder. This rod rests upon a variable cross-section column housing the rainwater drain and attached using invisible bolts. The white coating lends presence to the structure, whilst at the same time imbuing it with it a certain lightness.