The Canopy – A Dynamic Urban Sanctuary

Reg No 72 Submission - NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition - File 2 of 2_Page_1

Architectural Designer Katie Williams and Landscape Architect Nicholas Ison, of NBRSArchitecture, recently led a small team in the design of ‘The Canopy’ – a vibrant and innovative entry for the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Architecture Commission Design Competition. With assistance from Sophie Geelan (NBRSLandscape) and Mandy Flack (NBRSGraphics) the team created a pop-up design solution that utilises vertical space and provides a peaceful escape from the surrounding city.

‘The Canopy’ is an interactive, temporary, mechanical installation that encourages and facilitates relaxation, play and small gatherings whilst providing adaptable shade, temperature and lighting features, which change gradually throughout the day.

‘The Canopy’ offers a unique experience to each of its visitors depending on the time of day. The installation is comprised of individual triangular canopies, which are draped over steel supports and connected at the apexes by either a fixed or manipulable node, allowing users to change the direction of shade below. The position of each canopy panel also changes based on a variety of factors including sun movement, temperature and time.

The installation acts as a connector between the adjacent arbours, offering a place for refuge and reflection to its users. ‘The Canopy’ by NBRSArchitecture provides an exciting opportunity to activate the garden and gives visitors a place to retreat, shade and shelter, play and functions.


NBRS+PARTNERS is a people focused, research based studio that aims to enrich lives. By developing creative design partnerships our portfolio spanning public and private sectors exhibit an understanding of the people whose lives will be affected. Above all NBRS seeks to design environments that will have positive life changing affect. Architecture is the cornerstone of NBRS+PARTNERS global interdisciplinary design practice with expertise in Architecture, Heritage, Interiors, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, ESD and Research. Since 1968, NBRS has developed a research led international architecture practice based in Sydney Australia. NBRS is recognised for its innovative, award-winning design excellence and comprehensive expertise. Our design-minded, 50 strong team’s unique focus on creative partnerships helps to realise solutions, with extraordinary results.

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