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Stylish dining space meets strict building codes

Features | August 1, 2019 | By:

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA

Owners of the new Caribbean restaurant and bar Lallo’s in Miami, Fla., knew their debut needed outdoor dining and indoor seating in order to succeed. Management turned to Miami Awning Co. for its expertise to provide stylish shade and weather protection over an outdoor bar that was shoe-horned into the available space. One architectural feature that absolutely had to be incorporated was a massive rockface masonry bump-out wall behind the bar where all the spirits are vertically displayed up to ceiling height—the focal point of the covered dining area.

The finished canopy, roughly 33 feet 5 inches long by 28 feet wide, extends perpendicular to the restaurant’s main building and has roll-down storm doors for enclosing the space in case of high winds or hurricanes. The fabric roof is tautly fitted to a bow-arched steel truss frame; in case of high winds, it can easily be pulled off at the sides to leave a roofless framework to minimize any damage, as required by Miami’s strict building codes.

Miami Awning carefully fabricated the canopy to high-tolerance measurements to accommodate the 7-by-5-foot cutout around the rockface wall. Also carefully crafted are the four 1-foot-diameter corner columns that support 6-foot-deep by 18-foot-long beams; the beams are needed to span the space to minimize the number of columns that might encumber the workable dining area. The fabric selected is a high-strength PVC-coated polyester membrane in a light champagne color.

This project was an Outstanding Achievement winner in IFAI’s 2018 International Achievement Awards competition.

Bruce N. Wright, AIA, is an architect, teacher, consultant to architects and designers and a frequent contributor to Specialty Fabrics Review, Fabric Architectureand Advanced Textiles Source.

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