Good design sometimes means knowing what to leave as is. It doesn’t get any better than the bones of the Mill 1 Event Space: 12 1/2’ high ceilings, sand blasted brick walls with beveled window openings that flood the space with light, sandblasted wood ceilings, old growth long leaf pine beams and of course original maple floors with 175 years of history and four coats of shiny, tough as steel, polyurethane finish.
Aside from the basic layout to accommodate a standing crowd of 400 and weddings up to 250, the HVAC system and the bar were really the only elements to design. It was on this job that I discovered flat oval spiral ducts and the fact that they are often the same cost or only a small premium over the more frequently used round spiral duct. Working with our contractor to balance a well functioning system with a duct location and layout that is pleasing to the eye resulted in a solution that added to the already simple elegance of the space.
For the bar I wanted to create a sophisticated but warm bar that made every guest feel special and welcome. The Mill 1 bar literally leans forward to greet the customers coming up to it. The clean, modern lines of the bar top, gentle curves below and the contrast between modern white corian and the historic cyprus wood slats (repurposed from an abandoned water tank in one of the mills) set the stage for a drink, conversation and an enjoyable evening among friends. The execution was a marriage of function, form and detail that was worked out with drawings and full scale mock ups working closely with the bartenders to insure that they could serve large crowds comfortably and quickly.