• fig 1

General information

  • Home page
  • Location address
    Somerset House Strand London WC2R 1LA
  • Location country
    United Kingdom
  • Year of construction
  • Name of the client/building owner
    Somerset House
  • Function of building
    Restaurants & bars
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
  • Primary function of the tensile structure
    • Rain protection
    • Sun protection


A series of six umbrellas are to be constructed on raised platforms to form a sheltered restaurant seating area on the south side of Somerset House at the heart of London.

The platforms will each consist of timber deck panels held within steel trays, supported on a steel sub-frame with adjustable feet positioned at regular intervals. The timber panels will be constructed to allow removal and replacement without affecting the overall integrity of the steel structure. Glazed balustrades or screens fixed to the outer perimeter of the floor provide protection from wind to the diners.

A central steel mast will be rigidly connected to the sub-frame and used to support the fabric of each umbrella with the assistance of radial rods made of glass fibre reinforced plastic [GRP]. The GRP rods are bent into a delicate and flower-like shape to form this innovative fabric structure.

The umbrellas are to be constructed to allow dismantling on a regular basis. Drainage of each umbrella will be provided by a downpipe within the mast. The electrical and lighting installations are to be incorporated into the main system components

Description of the environmental conditions

The Canopies are in the open and will only provide sheltering from rain and shading.

Material of the cover

  • Cable-net/Fabric/Hybrid/Foil
  • Material Fabric/Foil
  • Material coating
  • Weight (g/m2)

Main dimensions and form

  • Covered surface (m2)
  • Total length (m)
  • Total width (m)

Duration of use

Involved companies