Solar Canopy, the Earth Centre

RIBA award winning trapezoidal frame

Location: Doncaster

Completed: August 2001

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Award: RIBA National Award 2002

At the time of construction, the solar canopy was the largest solar collector in the UK. It spans 1,300 square metres, containing 250 photovoltaic panels that generate 80,000 kilowatts of electricity per year.

Award-winning trapezoidal frame

The concept for the canopy was an ‘abstracted tree’. Trapezoidal in form, its irregularity adding to its beauty. In 2002 the Solar Canopy was awarded the outstanding accolade of a RIBA National Award.

“Sustainability meets aesthetics and demonstrates it can provide all the elements of good architecture.”
RIBA Award 2002 Judges

The structure is a geometrically complex space frame constructed from larch poles, joined by steel nodes, of which no two nodes are identical. While a regular space frame would have been significantly less interesting, if more economic, the cost of the frame was only marginally more than a steel equivalent.

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