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Project: Hidden Door Bar

A curved, copper-clad bar with circular details

I designed and built a circular bar for the Hidden Door festival to match the Organ bar I built the previous year. This second bar was supposed to be temporary but both bars are still in use – I like to think it was too good to go!

The bar is approximately a third of a 10m diameter circle clad with copper/plastic composite sheets that tarnish like solid copper

With the help of my artist colleague Roland, the bar was installed in a few days. Learning from the experience of the Organ Bar, The hardest part of constructing a curved bar is creating the curve.

The front of the bar needs to be robust enough to take the traffic and stand the test of time but the stiffer the timber you use to make the curve on the front, the more it has a tendency to want to return to its original straight, causing some strong forces and unpredictable distortions. I got round this by building the front up in stages, using lighter wood that has less of a tendency to spring back, plus I added diagonals in the frame that resist the tendency to expand the curve.