283 innovations

Expandable Canopy On Wheels

Designed by Beijing-based people’s architecture office, the ‘people’s canopy’ is thought as architecture for events and architecture as an event in itself. The two-story high expandable roof structure is set on bicycle wheels so that it can be cycled by citizens, paraded around the city, and stretched to the length of entire streets, linking disconnected public spaces. The canopy can collapse to the size of a double-decker bus so that it can be pedaled from one location to another. When parked, it can be opened like an accordion to 12-meters in length at a span of ten meters, thus turning unused areas into ones for pedestrians and events.

The design was first commissioned by the city of preston in the UK and In Certain Places, an art program for urban intervention and events. The aim of the program is to re-energize the city’s grand but declining historic center. Urban sprawl and air conditioned shopping malls have driven residents away from the open streets and publics spaces of the rainy city. The design references expandable canopies popular in southern china typically used by small businesses like restaurants and bars to temporarily expand their spaces into parking lots and public sidewalks.

Following their debut in preston, the ‘people’s canopies’ were features in the 2015 bi-city biennale of urbanism/architecture in Hong Kong. Installed in Kowloon park, they were continually relocated, expanded and contracted to support various public activities. Events were planned for the canopies but the public was also encouraged to engage in unexpected ways.

Source: designboom.comAdded: 4 February 2016

Tags: leisure