Breezefree creates special retractable roof for Novotel Canary Wharf

Breezefree, which specialises in designing and installing alfresco spaces, has created a special retractable louvred roof on the 39th floor roof terrace for Bōkan at the new Novotel London Canary Wharf.

Part of the Accor Group, the new 319-room hotel is known for its innovative design touches, which were completed by Koncept Design and Mystery.

The design incorporates Victoriana, vintage packing crates and naval engineering, alluding to the district’s shipping heritage. The fixtures and fittings cross time zones with neon-lit stairs and multi textured walls, including the work of abstract artist Sam Peacock.

Environmental touches include low energy filament lighting and a beehive on the roof producing the hotel’s honey.

The roof terrace, which complements the hotel’s restaurant and bar on the top three floors provides 360° views of London.

One of the main challenges facing Breezefree was that when the building was originally planned, the 39th floor roof terrace had not been fully conceived. The concrete roof slabbing was not designed to take a 32-square metre open-sided pergola structure with 92 Kilo Newton wind loads.

To remedy this, the team at Breezefree proposed a 12-tonne steel lattice frame, spanning over the slabbing and fixed into the building’s perimeter columns. From the lattice, the whole pergola structure of the aluminium retractable roof stands free.

In addition to the retractable roof, Breezefree was also commissioned to create an uncovered, external chill-out space using Corten steel for the hotel’s upper ground floor.

Simon Cotton, founder of Breezefree, said: “When you have a roof structure at this height in an urban setting, it faces considerably higher wind loadings that would be experienced at ground level.

“So our design successfully channels these loadings down the building’s main columns and importantly, no other point of the roof slabbing is taking any pressure.”

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