Landscape architects see benefits in awnings and canopies everywhere they look. With their training and a practiced eye, they can see almost endless possibilities to use awnings and canopies to enhance the value of outdoor spaces. They know the right shade structure can add an eye-catching focal point or blend unobtrusively into its natural environment.
Shade structures have been an important addition to landscaping for centuries. And landscape architects know that’s because awnings and canopies can bring so many benefits to private residential yards as well as commercial buildings and public spaces. Shade structures add a fresh, inviting look. They’re the perfect complement to flower beds, lawns, trees and shrubs as well as hardscape and water features.
Shade is one of the primary benefits.
Using awnings and canopies can expand planting options, allowing a wider variety of sun-sensitive plants or allowing you to plan an larger area. Shade structures can be used to design special-purpose gardens. Or they can serve as temporary “trees” – or augment existing trees – to shade children’s play areas, etc. It all helps make gardens more sustainable.
Of course landscape awnings and canopies help shade people, too, encouraging them to spend more time relaxing outdoors, enjoying the beautiful surroundings. And they can be used to shade buildings as well. That can significantly reduce indoor cooling costs, a benefit every owner can appreciate.
Awnings and canopies help create or define outdoor rooms.
At home, you can use them to carve out a reading nook, cover a dining area, a kitchen, poolside seating or some other relaxation area. Anywhere, you can use them to create a gazebo – an ideal “getaway” space with a feeling of privacy and coziness. Or create large special event space for weddings, concerts or other gatherings.
Awnings and canopies can provide a lovely visual transition between your home or commercial buildings and their outdoor environment, or cover walkways or winding paths that lead from one outdoor area to another. They give the eye more to see, but retain a coordinated, almost seamless flow throughout the landscape. And they work beautifully with any garden style, from rigidly formal to loosely naturalized looks.
Awnings and canopies can highlight architectural elements.
Use them to emphasize your building’s own personality or create an entirely separate outdoor structure that adds another “building” to the landscape. One that blends in or makes a contrasting architectural statement. Awnings and canopies can function as art in the landscape.
Variety is virtually unlimited.
Landscape architects love awnings and canopies because they come in so many structural styles — traditional cantilevers, tents, tension structures, umbrellas, pergolas. They can be attached to an exterior wall or stand alone. They can be retractable or stationary, permanently-installed or seasonal accents. They can be tiny or huge, earnestly stout or feathery ethereal. They can form a trellis to create a secret passage or a leafy green wall.
And then there’s the spectrum of materials available, from special fabrics that add functional benefits or textural interest to an appealing palette of colors. You can create awnings and canopies that fit smoothly into any landscape plan, whatever the goal of your overall design.
And you can extend the usefulness of landscape awnings and canopies, by adding portable accessories such as café curtains. Or full-length walls, perhaps with windows or insect screens.
No one understands the value of quality better than landscape architects. When you’re designing for the long term, you want top-grade materials and skilled craftsmanship that guarantee reliable, enduring performance and beauty year after year. Clients want maximum usefulness and enjoyment, with minimum maintenance and fuss. And every architect wants each of their designs to reflect individual inspiration, the personality of the space and its occupants.
No other architecture tool offers the versatility, options and opportunities that awnings and canopies can bring to any landscape design.
Photo Credit: paloetic via Flickr