Playing Canopies

Sunbrella 2016 Future of Shade Competition, Innovative Entry Prize


A series of Overhead Canopies and Street Level Furniture fill Paseo Ponti and Paradise plaza to create a unique pedestrian environment for the Miami Design District. This comfortable shaded artery is a public place, a resting point and spill over space that will allow people to stay and linger for extended periods of time. The design achieves its primary goal as a sunshade, and allows an experience like walking through a forest with diffused light and shadows and rain protection produced by strategically locating slits and twists within the Canopies. The series of sunshades connect Paseo Ponti to Paradise plaza, leading shoppers from a fast paced pedestrian street to an energized plaza for access to shops, galleries and cafes. The flow of Canopies is interrupted by Street Level Furniture such as individual seats, benches, kiosks, play structures and finally a stage at the plaza. Using the same structural logic as the canopies, the shades come down to the level of the street to create places both for pause and activity.  This intervention allows for a street market in Paseo Ponti, even a fashion show, a concert in Paradise plaza and a relaxing place to rest and eat in between the shopping experience. The design is porous, with carefully  calibrated apertures to always reveal the scene beyond and to not obscure store signage, storefronts and the architecture of the precinct. A color strategy works with the palette of the proposed buildings and the intended flow of people through the street.

Colors are applied subtly to the top face of the canopies and street furniture. When viewed from the bottom, the canopies appear as regular white canvas color and the apertures allow a view to the gradient of colors on the fabrics. The agenda of the color strategy is to attract shoppers and consumers into the pedestrian street and let them linger within the precint.

FLOW STRATEGY: Decresendo-crescendo – a flow of gradient to allow for an exciting experience within the precinct. The colors used between 40th and 42nd st street are energetic primary colors such as yellow to immediately draw people’s attention to the path. Yellow does not absorb much sunlight. It is bright and happy and has a cooling effect. Yellow gradually flows to orange – a particular spectrum of orange that matches the range of colors of the adjacent proposed buildings in Paradise Plaza. There is an insertion of a layer of more relaxing colors that will allow people to rest and chill out. These colors are applied to the distributed seatings made also from Subrella fabrics. The color scheme in Paradise Plaza is called “Sensitive City” with the use of warm orange tones. Sensitive colors are more subtle and linked to relaxing atmospheres and nature. Here, we see people resting in the plaza between their shopping experience. The colors chosen matches the culture of Miami and the sophisticated artistic and design-aware clientele of the Miami Design District.

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