The Kite Canopy design and construction tested our skills close to the limit. Flyde Borough Council asked us to develop a design for the exit canopy for their very busy crematorium. It was to be somewhere sheltered for mourners to congregate and share condolences after the service in the chapel. The site is very exposed and wind and weather changes rapidly coming off the sea. The existing canopy was deemed not fit for purpose and removed. We developed a number of design responses and through meetings with the council representatives the Kite Canopy was chosen.
The design is very complex and every beam meets the next or column at a compound angle. We used standard mortise and tenons where possible but most of the connects are bespoke steel flitch plates, screwed into the face of the supporting timber and bolted through the connecting one. The columns, as we often do, have steel square hollow section shoes to connect them to the ground. All in green oak the main frame has some massive 7m long, 250 kg beams and working with these was quite a challenge in itself.
About a third of the roof is glazed and we used a structural silicone glazing system to weather proof this. The rest of the roof is boarded and then covered with a flat roof waterproofing system.