Everyone knows that Sheffield is famous for its industrial heritage and the production of steel. What many people don't know, however, is that Sheffield has a vibrant cultural life that includes great restaurants and bars.
One such bar is ALTO. Sitting at the top of Cubo Sheffield, a co-working office space right by the Peace Gardens, the rooftop terrace offers an amazing view across the cityscape.
Originally unused floor space, ALTO was transformed by Trusted Technology designers and engineers into a stunning rooftop bar, complete with a luxury interior, offering the best seats in the house for views across the city of Sheffield.
Boasting the latest technology from leading manufacturers, ALTO offers guests a premium al fresco experience and a place to enjoy a cocktail or two (or three!) It's the perfect spot for both day and night; lunch on the terrace or drinks in the sun followed by dinner under twinkling fairy lights at night. Stay late enough and the resident DJ will take up his spot to transform the chilled daytime vibe into a lively dance floor.
How it all began
Having worked with us on several projects in the last 5 years, including their home automation transformation at their residential property and Cubo Sheffield's commercial fit-out, the client handed over all responsibilities to Trusted Technology and gave us 6 weeks to deliver the project...
We handled everything; interior and systems design, build, mechanical and electrical installations, audio, security and networking.
Getting the go-ahead on a Friday at 6pm made for a jam-packed weekend collating numerous drawings so our team could hit the ground running the following week!
Designing ALTO rooftop bar
When you're given a task like this, you're going to need to really get your creative juices flowing. You'll want to make sure that not only does the space look great and meet all of the requirements, but also that it functions well and is practical for its purpose.
This project was especially challenging because we had such a short amount of time to design everything and we needed to incorporate some high-tech features into the design. Not to mention we had to deal with the Great British summer weather - rendering and rain don't go that well together!
Our designs included bespoke air conditioning and audio systems from leading brands, wireless access points that would provide free Wi-Fi for all guests and a CCTV system to monitor the grounds. Not to mention premium finish upholstery, lighting and landscaping! These all needed to be incorporated into the design without distorting the aesthetic of the space we were building.
We also had to think about the best solutions such as how far to go with rebuilding the interior from scratch or making use of the existing space 'as-is'. We decided a 'fit-out' was the right path and would make the best use of what we already had - an amazing, open-plan space just waiting for some love and attention!
The construction phase
The top floor hadn’t been used for years; a shame as the space had so much potential! As it had been empty for several years, the first task was to strip back the existing space, pulling up the flooring and going back to bare walls. Going back to basics meant the entire top floor needed re-plastering - no mean feat for a space this size!
Working closely with our partners, we laid new floors and erected new partitions. We also ensured that the space was fully rewired to meet our technical requirements and that all other basic requirements were installed.
Given that the top floor had been empty and unused for a long time, there was no piping at all, meaning we needed to completely plumb the floor for toilets and waste for the bar. We even installed floor washing units underneath the bar and also under the roof terrace seating areas to make cleaning easy - no sticky dance floors here!
All joinery work was carried out by our in-house partners in line with our detailed design, including bespoke shelving units, a bar and various seating zones both inside ALTO and on the rooftop terrace.
Bringing in the tech!
Once the fundamentals were fitted and the space had been made usable, our team of engineers and electricians arrived to kit out the place with some serious tech.
Next, we moved on to our audio systems which provide background music in both ALTO bar and on the rooftop terrace. We installed a state-of-the-art digital sound system complete with inbuilt lighting and a custom-built DJ booth. The sound system is background music in the day but has the potential to go to nightclub loud in the evening.
To enable access to certain doors we installed a fully integrated access control system ensuring only authorised personnel could gain entry to certain areas. This also allows for the management to track time attendance of their team.
To remove the need for light switches, we set up automation so the first person through the door triggered the lighting to be activated and the last to leave at night turned all the lights off.
Certainly one of the most important elements of any bar is the lighting - this sets the mood at different times of the day.
We used various fittings, LED tape and moving heads for when the bar turns into a nightclub.
Everything was controlled by DMX, allowing for full colour changing and dimming centrally controlled via a touchscreen and of course remote access for our team should there need to be any tweaks.
The CCTV system has over 30 cameras in the space to ensure full compliance with licensing. This ensures no black spots and clear face ID should there be any issues within the bar.
These are all viewable on a large screen in the bar's office and also accessible by the team at any location through our trusted app. The wired security system ensures maximum uptime so the management team never misses a thing!
All cameras have full recording for 31 days and simple export for any issues for the police should the need arise.
We couldn't leave this one out. How else would you tag ALTO Sheffield or use #rooftopbar!?
Offering free connectivity for all ALTO guests, we created a wireless solution that was bespoke to the venue. Using portable access points in each room and on the rooftop terrace, we created an impressively stable network that provides internet throughout.
Last but not least, we had to ensure that all the technology in the building was talking nicely to each other. This meant installing data and communication cabling, along with networked CCTV and wireless access points across the entire venue.
ALTO's luxury interior
So we had a brand-new shell of an amazing space, kitted out with the best tech you could imagine - naturally, the interior needed to match the high standards!
Bespoke, made-to-measure booths were created for the internal seating areas, with some of the decor and furnishings brought in by one of our partners who worked with us closely throughout the project.
The stunning interior features stainless steel tiles, a striking glass and metal bar and luxurious furniture; making the most of floor-to-ceiling views over Sheffield's vibrant city centre.
Landscaping the rooftop terrace
A few weeks after we had gotten over the wettest May on record, we started work on ALTO's now stunning rooftop terrace. On top of this space, we installed industrial-style lights, decking and seating areas for al fresco dining.
We even created a bespoke flower wall to keep things looking tidy. It just so happens to also be a great spot for a selfie next to ALTO's bright pink neon sign! And it's nicely tied together with a green 'island' in the centre of the terrace, featuring palm trees and landscape speakers disguised as pebbles.
The finished article - Sheffield's latest rooftop bar!
You can see from our pictures just how far this space has come - we're really proud of what we achieved here!
Over six weeks, Trusted Technology engineers undertook an array of activities to ensure the space became fully functioning as Sheffield's most unique al fresco restaurant and bar. From installing air conditioning units to designing and putting together bespoke furniture. The transformation of ALTO's derelict top floor into a stunning rooftop bar has been a truly collaborative effort.
There were a lot of moving parts on the project, liaising with a variety of contractors and ensuring the brewery and local authorities were all kept at ease throughout. Not to mention we had to consider the tenants in the floors below who were working away throughout the chaos of construction.
ALTO Sheffield opened its doors on June 24th 2021 and instantly gained local media attention from The Sheffield Star and Yorkshire Live, not to mention an impressive waiting list of guests following the success of its Nottingham counterpart.
This project pushed our can-do attitude to the max but was really enjoyable to work on, sourcing anything from NEON signs to fake trees! Thanks to an incredible team of partners and our amazing in-house guys, we really did pull off something special.
If you’re looking to start a similar project, get in touch!