Schoolchildren using one of London’s most unusual playgrounds are now receiving year-round protection from the weather, following the construction of a new canopy.
As St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School is situated in a densely packed part of Marylebone, the playground is situated on top of the school’s roof. The new canopy makes it safer for the school’s 230 pupils to play outdoors by shielding them from the sun.
Designed by leading architects HOK, the canopy consists of three blue and yellow steel frames which represent the school’s colours, covered by three large, white, sail-shaped canvases.
Several companies donated their time and effort to make the canopy a reality, including HOK, Ridgeford Properties Limited and engineering consultancy Alan Baxter & Associates.
“Given the current economic climate, we were hugely grateful that firms like HOK and Alan Baxter were generous enough to donate their time and effort,” commented Chris Murray, the school governor who led the fund-raising drive and managing director of leading London development company, Ridgeford Properties. “We would never have succeeded without the whole-hearted support of the neighbouring community.”
“It is so important that children get the opportunity during the school day to play outside and this new canopy allows us to make the most of our outdoor space whilst protecting the children from the sun, which when we have rare glimpses of summer can be incredibly powerful. We are very grateful for the support of local businesses which has resulted in an impressive canopy and enabled our pupils to have a safer playing space,” said Marina Coleman, the Head Teacher of St Vincent’s.