Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pergola (with Canopy)

I found this pergola kit on a german website the other day. I believe the manufacturer is Dutch. I really like the (deceptively) simple, thin wood frame and softness of the canopy overhead. Hmmm...I could take a wood that is less yellow-toned. But otherwise, I've been looking for something like this for our deck.

Hello, Home Depot? Please add this to your collection.
You don't usually see pergola structures like this in wood. What makes the design unusual is the physics that are implied. Theoretically, the wood beams in this design have to withstand a significant amount of force over a very small area (at the joint).

More commonly, wood designs tend to overlap and stack. Overlapping and stacking distributes the force over more area. It also makes the structure look more visually cluttered and heavy (below). In order for a "simple" design, like the one above, to be solid and safe, you need some special reinforcing brackets, or diagonal braces, or a particularly strong wood, or a particularly thick lumber dimension. The Dutch kit appears* to use special brackets.

Home Depot's Montego Bay Pergola.
Psst... not very cool even with the computer generated landscape.

So, if your favorite architect gets strangely excited about what seems to be a very simple pergola design, now you know why.

* appears, because my Dutch language ability is based on my already lacking German abilities!

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