Tired of walking under the utilitarian and dark scaffolding that barely protects pedestrians from construction debris? Urban Umbrella, a new model for sidewalk sheds, is on its way to Toronto, by way of New York City. Urban Umbrella, a collaboration between Young Choi and architect Andres Cortes and structural engineer Sarrah Khan from the New York-based design firm Agencie Group, is designed to protect urban sidewalks from falling construction debris. Made of high-strength recycled steel and translucent plastic panels, the structure resembles a gracefully unfurling umbrella. 

Urban Umbrella won the the urbanSHED International Design Competition, a New York City-sponsored juried competition that invited architects and engineers to propose innovative and cutting-edge alternatives to the ubiquitous plywood and metal scaffolding. Out of 164 entries, Urban Umbrella was selected for its sustainable characteristics, increased safety elements and beauty. It made its debut in New York last year after two years of intense engineering reviews and testing. The elegant structure has also recently been named one of "Seven Genius Urban Design Innovations" by Conde Nast

Urban Umbrella by Young Choi with Andrés Cortés AIA and Sarrah Khan PE of Agencie Group

These more pedestrian-friendly, safer and sustainable sidewalk sheds will soon be coming to Toronto, thanks to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale, Sheldon Levy, President of Ryerson University, Alan Vihant, Senior Vice President of High Rise Development for Great Gulf and Sarrah Khan of Urban Umbrella.

They will be launching the innovative scaffolding on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 11:30am at the Ryerson Image Arts Building, 122 Bond Street.

Related Companies:  CFMS Consulting Inc., Diamond Schmitt Architects, Ryerson University