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Constellations Bar

Constellations Bar

Commercial & Leisure Winner 2015

Location: Liverpool
Client/Owner: Constellations
Architect: Howard Miller Design
Structural Engineer: Materian Ltd.
Main Contractor/Builder: H. Miller Bros.
Joinery Company: Hugh Miller Furniture
Wood Supplier: Materian Ltd.
Wood Species: Welsh Green Oak, TR26 Softwood Roofing Timber, OSB3 Boards.

Constellations Bar is an outdoor venue that occupies a disused industrial recycling yard and consists of a bar, food truck, art space and community garden. Located in Liverpool’s up-and-coming creative quarter, The Baltic Triangle, the project occupies a disused industrial recycling yard. The project was the brainchild of Becky Pope, Nick Baskerville, and Paul Seiffert, whose diverse backgrounds include community events organisation, marketing and craft beer brewing.

Brothers Hugh and Howard Miller, a furniture maker and a practicing architect, collaborated on this project to rekindle the Arts & Crafts ideal of gesantkunsterk, a ‘total work of art’. Approached in April 2014, the brothers were tasked with designing and making the venue to be operational by that summer. From the H.Miller Bros. being appointment to the opening party of Constellations was a little over 3 months.

The design takes inspiration from the site; an enclosed brick courtyard created when the roof of a former warehouse burned down in the 1980’s. The remaining gables provide a backdrop to the design and these pitches are reflected as a motif in the profile of the canopy.

The canopy, along with all the other components, was prefabricated in the H. Miller Bros. workshop, and slotted together on site in 3 days. The waffle soffit was made from standard construction timber, planed down to remove rounded edges and grade markings. The undulations of the soffit create a variety of atmospheric spaces – beer hall, dining room, and intimate seating area. However these spaces are unified by the regular pattern of the ceiling.

The structure is supported by a set of ten ‘quadrapods’ – doubled A-Frame supports -made from green oak. These have a duel function, as each one incorporated bench seating or a table. These quadrapods carry the load of the canopy via glue-lam beams, which project form the roof to form a wing-shaped rain spout.

The courtyard garden is populated with green oak furniture, conceived as a set of tessellating components, and planted one-tonne builders bags. These are easily movable, allowing the space to be reconfigured to accommodate the rolling program of arts events, performance, cinema screenings and a market.

Further Sustainability Information: Timber is FSC / PEFC certified. The green oak was locally sourced from Wales.