Linwood Center School, Functional Shading with Mapes SuperShade

The need to combine functionality with visual appeal in architecture is a common occurrence. A balance between the two requires understanding priorities for each aspect.

With the new school building for The Linwood Center, the dictates of the building purpose and the building siting established set parameters of need for a functional sunshade. The aesthetics preferences were influenced by the overall exterior designs and materials usage. The resultant Mapes “SuperShade” supplied and installed was refection of this balance.

The building siting placed the longer side of the building facing South. The building program located classrooms on both the 1st and 2nd floors on the South side. Large natural light windows were used for each class room. Natural light was an established priority as was the need for timely shading effects during peak class room hours of the day, 10am – 3 pm. The picture vividly shows shadow effect with mid day sun.

The building design aesthetics were an important consideration for the school and for the architect. The materials used on the exterior offered opportunities for both a long sweeping arc sunshade as well as materials finished in an aesthetically compatible clear anodized finishes. The Mapes “SuperShade”, all extruded aluminum canopy structure, was custom designed for this particular project. The SuperShade significantly complied with the architect’s vision for both a function sunshade element designed to very nicely blend in with the building appearance.


This SuperShade is an all extruded aluminum sunshade. It is finished in a “class 2” clear anodized finish. This is the same finish color and type of finish as the window frames below the sunshades. The louver blades are 8 inches on center and set at a 45 degree back slant. Mapes SuperShades are shipped in preassembled “frame sections” of the same width as the hanger rod spacings. The hanger rods are powder coated to match the canopy finish color. The installation time is approx. 2 man hours per front foot not including wall drilling preparation for anchor locations. The installed canopy weighs approx. 5 lbs per sq. ft. The canopies are shipped in light weight wood crates and shipped in preassembled sections.


The SuperShade  sunshades are constructed of extruded aluminum and are light weight but very strong. This “SuperShade” was engineered with stamped calcs included for this specific location and this specific canopy design. This is in contrast to some canopies supplied by others that simply stamp the components as engineered components as engineered components and not as a whole system, then call it out as an engineered and stamped canopy. That does not make their canopy assembly suitable for all locations and design specific applications. We’ve been supplying location specific stamped calcs from the beginning.

Linwood Center 
Ellicott City, Maryland
Mapes Job Number:
Curry Architects, Towson, MD
Canopy Style:
 Mapes SuperShade Sunshade
Dimensions: Nominal 100′ ft long x 6′ arc projection and tapering to flush at each end
Finish:  Class 2 clear anodized
Fascia:  Standard 8 inch tall “J” style with optional 3 inch tall forward offset fascia extension.
Louver Style: 45 degree back slanted louver blades on 8″ centers
Support Method: Combination of overhead hanger rod supported with added cantilevered supports between over head rods. With thru bolts at upper and lower attachment points for positive anchorage.

** With location specific stamped engineering calcs for Ellicott City, MD


OPTIONS: There are additional options that can be specified on both the sunshade styles and the solid deck styles.

FINISHES: Standard off the shelf finishes include: Class 2 clear anodized, bronze baked enamel or white baked enamel. Other options include both standard 2 coat Kynar colors and custom matched Kynar colors – 2 & 3 coat.

FASCIA PROFILES: The standard 8 inch tall “J” style is the most common.  Others include:  taller fascias- up to 24 inches although typical requested is 12-18 inch range of options;  custom bent plate fascia with legs turned inward or outward;  Fascias with “forward offset”  extensions of 3, 4 and 6 inch add-on heights and set ¾ inch forward of the standard lower “J” fascia component.

HANGER ROD ESCUTCHEON PLATES FOR AESTHETIC PURPOSES: 7 inch square of diamond orientation matched to canopy finish color;  or:  round,  4-12 inch diameter choices, finished to match.

SIZE OPTIONS:  Depending on style of sunshade or solid deck canopy styles and locations and load capacity requirements: up to 10ft projection and unlimited lengths.

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