Canopy artwork unveiled in Edmonton

The art installation by Intern architect Jonathan Monfries was recently on display in Edmonton's Sir Winston Churchill Square.

Photo credit: David Bloom

CANOPY, a project by Edmonton-based urbanist, artist, and intern architect Jonathan Monfries, was recently on display at Sir Winston Churchill Square in Edmonton, Alberta.

For this project, Monfries worked independently with The Works International Visual Arts Festival in Edmonton to design and build their feature art installation as a pilot project for using art as a form of climate adaptation and resiliency.

According to Monfries, the installation was designed and built over the course of three months and was displayed in Churchill Square during the month of July.

Photo credit: David Bloom

The project is part of a greater research project that Monfries is currently undertaking with funding from Edmonton Arts Council that considers “how art installations can be married with architectural design thinking to represent a form of climate resiliency – one that has beauty, function and greater meaning.”

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Monfries

CANOPY aims to provide a biophilic installation that explores how art and architecture can be used together as a form of climate resiliency.

The installation uses an interlocking waffle structural system which creates an organic, curvilinear aesthetic while simultaneously remaining structurally robust. It also represents a climate adaptation pilot that takes into consideration how design projects including art installations can provide a form of refuge from the effects of climate change.

To create the form of a tree integrated with seating, parametric modelling was used to ensure material waste was minimized during fabrication and production. This resulted in an environmentally sustainable build.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Monfries

“CANOPY is not only an art installation. It represents an innovative approach to providing amenity for the public realm. I am appreciative to have this opportunity to personally design and build this project for an incredible local organization that makes art more accessible to the public,” wrote Monfries in a LinkedIn post.

“Tree canopies typically provide natural beauty, filtered sunlight, and an area to relax. In dense, concrete environments that experience extreme heat as the climate changes, CANOPY provides shelter for the public to sit and appreciate art. It is the result of personal design research that takes inspiration from the beauty and function of the natural environment through biomimicry. Using sustainably harvested wood and simple connection strategies, the entire installation can be assembled and disassembled for re-use with ease – giving it the longest life possible for an installation made with natural materials.”