Evolution Retractable Roof at Dock 580 Juniper Rooftop Project #2483

Project Details

MODEL: Evolution Lean-To Full Height Retractable Roof BAYS: 10 Bays (6 modules: 4 double bay, 2 single bay) LENGTH: 67' WIDTH: 25'

Adaptive Reuse of Smith Bros’ Building

Perfect Fit for libart’s Evolution Retractable Roof

How do you improve a landmark building? An Evolution Retractable Roof is a great way to start. Constructed in 1928, The Smith Bros’ Hardware Co. building and its rooftop water tower define the Columbus skyline. During the ’40s and ’50s, it was one of the largest hardware distribution companies in the Midwest. Things changed over time as it closed in the early ’80s and remained vacant for 15 years. Unfortunately, demolition seemed inevitable after a fire damaged the building further. However, Todd Kemmerer, Principal at Capital Equities, had a more productive vision. Smith Bros’ is an excellent story of adaptive reuse architecture. Retaining authenticity was a priority. As a result, key elements remained, such as a 22′ circular metal chute, rooftop water tower, original name branding on the building exterior, and even graffiti-covered columns.

It’s Important to Plan for Rooftop Spaces in the Beginning

According to experts cited in a Columbus Dispatch article, it is crucial to design rooftop spaces into the plans from the beginning. Todd agrees. He said a rooftop space had been part of his plan for the Smith Bros’ building for 20 years. Installing support columns for the rooftop space in 1997 was a stroke of luck.1 Enter Steve Rayo, owner, and CEO of Dock580. Initially, his team began operating out of the Smith Bros’ Hardware annex building in 2005 as Zuppa Catering in their first event space called “The Venue.” 2 It was so successful that they opened a second space in 2009 called “The Loft.”

The Perfect Urban Rooftop

As a result of their continued success, his team set out to create the perfect urban rooftop. They found The Godfrey, a LibartUSA project in downtown Chicago, and immediately knew they wanted something like this on the Smith Bros’ building. The six-story Smith Bros’ building has views of Downtown, the Arena District, the Short North, the Convention Center, the OSU Stadium, and part of Italian Village. According to Rayo, this is also an ideal location because nothing can be built around it that may obstruct the view.3 Steve assembled a collaborative design-build team in 2015, including Libart USA, Architectural Alliance, and Compton Construction.

Together, they put their heads together to turn vision into reality. The rooftop consists of an open-sky terrace, an Evolution Retractable Roof over the dining area, and a fixed roof area with a full bar and kitchen. Dock580 vetted a new name for the venue and settled on “Juniper.” Juniper is a private event space on weekends and a bar and restaurant open to the public three nights a week. The theme is “Gatsbyesque,” almost like a rooftop speakeasy.3 Together, the views of downtown Columbus, exposed brick, polished concrete floors, and steel beams make for an exciting and unique space where Steve’s team expects to book at least 150 gatherings each year!

Libart’s Evolution Retractable Roof Enclosure

The key to truly kinetic architecture that is worthy of integrating with a premium venue like Juniper is in the engineering. Therefore, the Evolution Retractable Roof EL Model perfectly complements the space. The EL is a straight eave heavy-duty aluminum framed structure. The insulated glass panels are crystal gray on the roof and clear glass on the sides. This application called for an “R1 Retraction” design where the most prominent modules are at the fixed ends, and the smaller modules retract underneath from the center.

Understandably, Libart’s Evolution Retractable Roof fulfilled the developer and owner’s vision for this unique premium venue by creating that “WOW” factor, providing incremental revenue, and ultimately delivering year-round use. Learn more about the Evolution Retractable Roof by Clicking Here.



1. The Columbus Dispatch


2. Columbus Underground, September 28, 2012


3. Columbus Underground, September 25, 2017