Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

• March 1, 2010

If you are architects / designers looking for the resource of complicated manufacturing, The Netherlands-based office The Form Foundation might meet your needs. It is an office specialized in complex geometries and computational research, and recently had finished a copper canopy which is completely digitally fabricated, whereby traditional (construction) drawings become redundant.

+ Project description courtesy of The Form Foundation
Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 1 595x327 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 7 595x320 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Copper canopy

Above the front door of a house with straw roof a copper canopy was designed. The canopy uses the same curvature as its larger brother, the straw roof. The curvature above the front door is designed to ensure rain water falls down to the sides of the canopy, creating a dry zone in front of the canopy.

The canopy was digitally fabricated resulting in an accurate, easy to assemble object. The copper resin coating creates a seamless monolithic object with matches the homogeneous structure of the straw roof.

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 3 595x315 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

3D model

The geometry was defined in a 3D model. The canopy’s cladding consists of two 3mm thick bendable plywood sheets.

Because this material can only be bent in one direction, the canopy was design using only single curvature.

The rib structure on the inside is perforated to save weight. All ribs are automatically measured so the strength/weight ratios can be calculated instantaneously.

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 4 595x320 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Digital fabrication

Alle ribben krijgen een codering All ribs are tagged and are laid out on plywood sheets. This is done by a nesting software to minimise cutting loss. A waterjet cutter is used to cut the parts to a precision
of 0,2mm.

The result is a building package in which every numbered rib is easy to assemble and a frame which can be complete in a minimum of time.

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 5 595x320 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 6 595x319 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Copper cladding

The waterproof plywood is coated with a layer of copper resin. This is a mixture of copper powder and resin.

This results in a homogeneous seamless surface. However, by adding resin the copper will hardly oxidise, and thereby age, anymore. To avoid this, a patina is added to enhance the copper’s ageing process. The result is a canopy which seamlessly blends in with the existing straw roof.

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 2 595x432 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 9 595x320 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy The Form Foundation plusMOOD 8 595x320 Copper Canopy | The Form Foundation

Copper Canopy, image courtesy of The Form Foundation

+ Project credits / data

Design: The Form Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Fabrication: VormGrip, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Object: VormGrip, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Location: VormGrip, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Dimensions: 6,2m x 1,4m x 0,4m (LxBxH)
Weight: 109kg

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Category: Design, Industrial

Comments (1)

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  1. Kenn says:

    Wow. A modern solution that matches the vernacular of the building. It’s simple, beautiful and it doesn’t detract from the character of the building. Lovely.