British designer Paul Cocksedge is partnering with engineering firm Arup to build a 33-metre-long canopy in Oman Botanic Garden. The steel structure – a figure of eight – was designed using planetary data, and is inspired by the sun’s changing positions during the course of a year. The data was analysed using an analemma – a diagram that shows the sun as if it’s been captured from the garden at the same time every day for a year. Every analemma is location specific, which means the canopy’s form is unique to its surroundings.
The structure will offer shade to visitors to the 420-hectare Oman Botanic Garden, set to be the largest ecological site in the world upon its completion. The sculptural canopy will be one of the many architectural highlights of the attraction in addition to a visitor centre and education and research facilities.
“It made sense to use the sun, and our perception of its movements as the basis of our design,” says Cocksedge. “There is so much planetary data, shapes and lines which we could never have imagined ourselves.”
Located 35 km outside the capital city of Muscat at the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains, the attraction has been designed by Grimshaw Architects in collaboration with Arup and Haley Sharpe Design.