Somerset House Canopies
Somerset House Strand London WC2R 1LA
Year of construction
Name of the client/building owner
Function of building
Restaurants & bars
Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Rain protection
- Sun protection
A series of six umbrellas are to be constructed on raised platforms to form a sheltered restaurant seating area on the south side of Somerset House at the heart of London.
The platforms will each consist of timber deck panels held within steel trays, supported on a steel sub-frame with adjustable feet positioned at regular intervals. The timber panels will be constructed to allow removal and replacement without affecting the overall integrity of the steel structure. Glazed balustrades or screens fixed to the outer perimeter of the floor provide protection from wind to the diners.
A central steel mast will be rigidly connected to the sub-frame and used to support the fabric of each umbrella with the assistance of radial rods made of glass fibre reinforced plastic [GRP]. The GRP rods are bent into a delicate and flower-like shape to form this innovative fabric structure.
The umbrellas are to be constructed to allow dismantling on a regular basis. Drainage of each umbrella will be provided by a downpipe within the mast. The electrical and lighting installations are to be incorporated into the main system components
Description of the environmental conditions
The Canopies are in the open and will only provide sheltering from rain and shading.
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Covered surface (m2)
Total length (m)
Total width (m)
Duration of use
Jeremy Dixon & Edward Jones