New York-based studio The Very Many has designed and built a sinuous canopy that hovers over the entrance to a public pool in El Paso, Texas. The canopy, called Marquise, comprises hundreds of lightweight aluminum shingles that are cut to diamond-shaped panels and connected to leave small gaps in between.



Colorful marquise-the-very-many-front


The design studio The Very Many, led by Marc Fornes, with engineering from LaufsED, formed a self-supporting structure made of gridded, curvilinear panels. There are hundreds of lightweight aluminum shingles that form a larger surface, with gaps in between to produce a dappled lighting effect below.


Colorful marquise-the-very-many-curves


A diamond-like pattern in gradients of rich yellows and deep blues plays off the “fluctuations between warm and cool” of the desert setting and is meant to creating an overall color palette based on the Texan environment, said a statement from The Very Many.




The curved surfaces creates an impression of a billowing tent rising from the ground, where it organically forms two seats that are actually cast-in-place concrete elements. From the organic form of the awning, visitors have a unique spatial experience with alternating sensations of warmth and coolness, light and shade.




The name Marquise references the structure’s 21st century play on the Art Nouveau entrance, which is historically classified as a curvilinear steel frame and glass awning that is either attached to buildings or freestanding. Here, aluminium replaces the glass-and-steel frame to create a unified structure.




Fornes is renown for designing pavilions with similar shingles. In 2015, he created an outdoor installation for a French school with similar aluminium plates and coloured green and blue.


This is his second installation in Texas – the first was a spine-like, arched pavilion in San Antonio with a bright green colourway.


All Photos by Naaro.