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Outdoor canopy build is true collaboration

Features | May 1, 2022 | By:

A seemingly simple job can sometimes create many challenges but still result in a great finished project. A case in point is the canopy built for a homeowner’s outdoor space by Fresco Shades, of Auckland, New Zealand. The homeowner had provided a CAD drawing of the desired space and even visited the designer’s office to discuss various options.

Over time, the simple design turned into something more complex and challenging. What was to be a straightforward free-standing canopy only (no sides) bolted to a concrete pad, evolved to include an outdoor fireplace, a timber deck, a brick wall and side screens. 

The client also insisted on minimum framing, so Fresco Shades had to redesign the supporting arches for the chimney, another deviation from the original design.

And there were additional challenges. For example, the customer had been told not to build the deck until Fresco could bolt the posts onto the concrete, after which the deck could be built around the posts. However, the customer was impatient and went ahead with a deck over the concrete pad, which made attaching the posts more complicated.

This design required large base plates for stability, but the customer was concerned about aesthetics. Fortunately, he decided to build a brick plinth to support the new outdoor fireplace–also not part of the initial plan. “We avoided using external base plates by creating internal base plates, which are not standard and which we had never done before,” notes Megan Cummins, managing director of Fresco Shades.

The project became a true collaboration between Fresco Shades and the homeowner. It was named a 2021 Awards for Excellence Winner for Tension Structures & Canopies <50 sqm, by OFPANZ, the Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand. 


Project name

Hadwin (homeowner)

Design and Installation

Fresco Shades Ltd.
Auckland, New Zealand

Material used

Ferrari 502

Fabric Supplied By

QCD Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand

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