Located on the rooftop of 92Y—a world-class community and cultural center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—this project consists of a single En-Fold® retractable canopy system measuring 22’-3” in extension by 82’-1” wide, covering an area of 1,826 square feet. The En-Fold® retractable canopy is attached to the main trusses of a 100-year-old riveted steel structure, which was originally covered with chain link fencing and served for many years as a safety enclosure for the rooftop playground. The entire rooftop playground and steel truss structure are being refurbished and repurposed to serve as a new daytime playground for the school children and a programmable after-hours event space.
The overall purpose of this project is to transform the rooftop playground into an outdoor green space and playground that will support 92Y’s nursery, summer camp and early childhood programs, and host expanded special event space. The client required a canopy system that will provide shade and weather protection for the dynamic multi-purpose space, while being completely retractable in order to comply with the City Building Department requirements.
As is the case with most retrofit applications of the En-Fold® retractable canopy system there were several unique, complex and challenging aspects to this project. After the design team evaluated roughly eighteen En-Fold® conceptual layouts, it was determined that the canopy’s primary drive beams would be attached directly beneath six of the existing laced steel trusses that serve as load bearing supports for the enclosure structure. The trusses span across the rooftop space and arch downward to the parapet wall. The shape of each curved truss was unique and had to be templated to ensure that the connection brackets would fit precisely. In addition, the City Building Department required that the fabric covering be at least 50% translucent, which meant that none of the standard En-Fold® fabric offerings were accepted, triggering an exhaustive search for a suitable fabric. Fortunately, Seaman Corporation had just developed their new Shelter-Rite® 3820 FRLTC DC-0 Clear fabric with 65% light transmission and strength characteristics suitable for use with the En-Fold® retractable tensile canopy system. The fabric was submitted to the City Building Department and the application was approved.
The result of the project is a unique weather protected rooftop outdoor green space/playground/event space that will allow 92Y to expand its community and cultural offerings in a safe and responsible manner.
The En-Fold® for 92Y won a 2021 Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Outstanding Achievement Award in the Commercial Retractable Awnings & Canopies category at the International Achievement Awards.
Number of Drive Beams: 6
Fabric: Seaman Shelter-Rite® 3820-Clear