Feature Article - October 2004
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Got it Covered

Adding the right outdoor elements, including shelters, gazebos and building structures

By Kelli Anderson


Many types of outdoor structures can serve the same function, with the primary one being shade or protection from the rain. What may set one apart from another may end up being something as simple as cost or achieving a particular look.

But depending on the kind of structure, from kiosk to pergola to yurt, these structures also perform specialized functions as well. Some of the most common shade functions and spaces to consider for your facility are:

  • spectator and player seating—dugouts, bleachers

  • information centers—message centers, outdoor trail maps

  • concessions—food service for waterparks, mini golf, public parks, ball fields

  • convenience areas—litter receptacles, picnic tables, benches, BBQ grills

  • waiting areas—outside restrooms, near entrance and exit areas, ticket areas

  • trails—dog parks or trails for biking, walking, jogging and hiking

  • water areas—pool decks, pool enclosures, beach fronts, marinas

  • entertainment—band/concert shells, press boxes, playgrounds, picnic or social gathering sites, sports covers, range shelters (golf)

  • booths—ticket, entrance and guard booths

  • transitional spaces—covered walkways, parking areas

  • security or privacy—walled shade structures or structures fitted with lights

  • camping—overnight structures for rent

  • art—focal points, creating community identity or icon