When designing a trendy new restaurant and night club for young, hip professionals in the heart and bustle of Chicago, any architect worth their weight knows they need to tap into some serious, off-the-charts “WOW” factor to draw in the crowds. The new American Junkie Restaurant and Night Club had to be “cutting edge,” and focus on the company’s theme of “paying tribute to all things American.” What better way to celebrate Americana than by contributing to the night life of this chic and cultural hub known as the River North District by offering an open-air dance floor that would feature crystal clear skyline views of one of the most celebrated cities in the nation? That was the serious “WOW” factor the architects had in mind when they partnered with Libart and started creating the 36’ wide x 31’ long rooftop enclosure feature of their new commercial project.
With the Windy City’s reputation for lake-effect weather, open-air dance floors in night clubs with skyline views can be a tricky terrain. There were plenty of needs to consider, but our project team viewed the client’s ideas as a welcome challenge. Most importantly, the material would need to be crystal clear so the view from the 36’ wide x 31’ long rooftop enclosure was not obstructed when the roof was closed, which meant Libart’s light-weight, UV-blocking polycarbonate material was not an option. The obvious solution would be to use one-inch thick glass instead, which is heavier than polycarbonate, but would offer the insulation needed and provide the desired crystal clear view. The frame would have to be custom painted to match the club’s décor, and the entire structure would have to be easily operated by busy night club staff. The project team decided that for ease of operation, they would install a wall-mounted electronic operating system, which would open and close the entire structure with a simple push of a button. While Libart offers some standard colors for frames, our array of custom colors is virtually limitless so the custom-painted framework was a non-issue. From start to finish, the project took just over a year to complete – a pretty standard timetable for large-scale commercial projects such as this.
When it comes to our designs here at Libart, much like our work with the hip and trendy American Junkie Restaurant and Night Club, each project is custom designed, so our client’s needs are just a routine part of our design process – puzzle pieces that we bring together to create an impressive and beneficial product. For Jeff, our Project Manager who worked with American Junkie’s team of architects, this was an exciting, cutting-edge project. When asked about it, he immediately turns his attention to the reaction he’s hoping for not from the clients, but from their patrons. “I can’t wait to hear what their guests have to say about it when they see the retractable roof open for the first time!” Because here at Libart, we recognize that it’s not just our responsibility to find solutions that impress and satisfy our customers. Equally important to us is our responsibility to impress our customer’s customers!
Free Standing E System. Six Bays and Six Module configuration. 70 degree sidewalls used to help spread the load. Entire enclosure is glazed with 1″ thick insulated glass. SecurTrak & SecurLok. Enclosure Size: 36 feet wide (span) x 31 feet length.