House of Blues

2005 VM+SD Retail Renovation Competition Winner
Posted September 19, 2005

First Place
Specialty Store, Sales Area over 10,000 sq. ft.

Cleveland, OH

Designers from Cooper Carry (Atlanta) faced an enormous challenge renovating three buildings – including a former Woolworth's store &150; that were more than 50 years old to create the Cleveland House of Blues.

Designers wanted to use the space in part to reveal the story of Cleveland's past. Once a thriving, wealthy city, it was left somber after the Depression of 1929. The diversity in the details reflects the change in history and of the people of this city.

The House of Blues was to reflect this change, through all the various economic cycles over the years, into Cleveland's current blue-collar identity and its place as the cradle of rock-and-roll.

"House of Blues likes to pull bits and pieces from the cities they go into," says Cooper Carry principal Gar Muse. "The interior is a blend of old and new, of opulence and the grain of street blues. In addition, the artwork expresses Cleveland's character, but at the same time, is consistent with the House of Blues image."

Renovation helped reveal some of the ornate antique millwork in the buildings, which mingles with the hand-wrought, blue-collar identity of the environment. "We were able to preserve some areas of original millwork," says Muse. "Existing columns with travertine marble were also kept in place due to the great craftmanship and and detail."

In addition to all the details that went into the project, designers were challenged with the structures themselves. Two of the buildings, which now feature the House of Blues restaurant, had uncertain structural integrity. The third building required having its basement and uppermost floors converted to parking areas.

The 22-foot ceilings and narrow column spacing of the remaining floors were dramatically changed to accommodate the House of Blues Concert Hall. New columns were placed 12 feet from their original position, extended into the basement and supported by a new foundation.

The grand Concert Hall, eclectic nature and overall broad scope of the project are just a few of the details that made the House of Blues stand out in the minds of judges.

Two of the buildings, which feature the House of Blues restaurant, had uncertain
structural integrity, complicating the design process early on.

Client: House of Blues Entertainment Inc., Hollywood, Calif.

Design/Architect: Cooper Carry Inc., Atlanta
Gar Muse, principal
Michael Lowry, project manager
Michael Hernandez, project architect
Rick Casey, project designer
Patrece Julian, Jennifer Brownlee and Muna Shehadeh, interior designers
Brian Devinck, Charlotte Allen, Liz Cordill, Christina Lihan, Robert McLemore, Douglas Webster, staff architects
Stella Kastritsos, intern architect
Brett Wylie and Jonathan Young, design team

Design/Project Management: Idletime Networks Inc., Windmere, Fla.

General Contractor: DAS Construction, Cleveland

Outside Design Consultants: Burkshire Construction, Cleveland (demolition)
C.I.R. Plumbing, Cleveland (plumbing)
Ullman Electric, Cleveland (electrical)

Steel: Columbia Building Products, Cleveland

Sheet Metal: Geauga Mechanical, Chardon, Ohio

Millwork: Royal Cabinet, Brook Park, Ohio

Doors and Hardware: Enterprise Door & Supply Co., Mentor, Ohio

Glass Storefront: Carrol Glass, Euclid, Ohio
Metal Stud Framing and Drywall: Russ & Co., Westlake, Ohio

Flooring: Bowling Service, Strongville, Ohio
FlorLine, Massillon, Ohio

Painting: Porvasnik, Brunswick, Ohio

Seating: Irwin Seating, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Bar Security Doors: Advance Door, Cleveland

Kitchen Equipment: TriMark, Irvine, Calif.

Elevators: ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Broadview Heights, Ohio

Sprinkler: Northcoast Mechanical, Brunswick, Ohio

Photography: Roger Mastroianni, Cleveland