New Orleans, LA
DesCours Festival, Hover
The DesCours Festival transforms New Orleans’s French Quarter and Business District with public art and architecture exhibits scattered throughout the neighborhoods. Howeler + Yoon Architecture’s installation for the 2007 festival was Hover, a canopy constructed of connected nylon cells illuminated by LED lights and powered by photovoltaic cells. SGH provided structural engineering services for the project.
Howeler + Yoon Architecture envisioned the temporary structure as a kit of parts that could be scaled up or down and adapted to a variety of venues, increasing the potential for future installations.
SGH designed a net of high-strength steel cables to support the nylon cells from above without impeding the solar exposure or views to the sky. We chose a net configuration to allow adjustability in attaching the canopy to surrounding buildings in the courtyard and connecting the individual cells. By providing flexibility, we helped the project team design and install the canopy within the short schedule. We also envisioned the net would gently release should a festival visitor pull at the canopy cells.
SGH was present during the installation at the festival site and helped develop solutions to accommodate unforeseen conditions, including wrapping a cable around one courtyard building to support the net and identifying appropriate attachment locations on other buildings.
The installation existed for eight days and was one of the most popular features at the festival with the suspended solar powered canopy harvesting energy by day and illuminating the courtyard at night.