Malmaison Hotel

Installing a roof canopy system 12 stories high at Malmaison, York, with stunning views of the York Minster


The project was to provide a new boutique hotel to York City Centre, with Malmaison looking to introduce their first hotel into the city. The brief included an outdoor terrace area for the top floor bar to complement the building and make use of the space.

The requirement

We were asked to design a roof only canopy, with no sides, for the bar on the top floor. The bar is open to hotel guests and the public, and features outdoor seating, intended for use during warmer days and evenings.

The solution was a Cantabria canopy featuring a retractable roof and built in LED lighting. The client wanted something that tied in with the hotel design and, after seeing our work on previous projects including the Savage Garden by Doubletree Hilton, they agreed our product would look perfect.


The local council was involved with regards to planning permission. They did not want the design to negatively impact the skyline and surrounding areas. There was involvement on the colour of the canopy, the steel sections used, and the size of other components.

Canopies UK provided the council with CAD drawings and superimposed images to show them what the proposed canopy system would look like, and planning permission was granted.

The next issue was designing a support for the canopy that worked with the loadings of the building and what the client wanted for the design of the terrace area.

Our structural engineer worked with the contractor’s engineers to come up with a design that allowed the canopy to be safely supported. The solution was a steel beam installed into the frame of the building at base level on the roof, with our canopy bolted onto the beam. The contractors provided a floor to hide all steel sections and give a neat finish.

Finally, we had to gain suitable access for delivering the proposed canopy, 12 floors up. For access to the roof, we arranged road closures and a crane lift to safely get the canopy materials to the roof for installation.

The solution

The completed canopy overlooks York City Centre and the historic York Minster. There are no other rooftop bars in York with such views, and the results are sympathetic to the surroundings. Malmaison customers can comfortably enjoy food and drink on the terrace without the risk of rain.