'Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.’ Arthur Ashe
This reflects our approach to architecture – local, adaptive building and creative material reuse, with energy efficient and integrated alternative systems. Our clients tend to be business startups in the neighborhoods they reside. We start with the building, stripping away years of layers to identify it’s best attributes, in this case not only exposing and occupying the bowstring trusses but using the wood surface to reflect light creating a warm glow within the space. Reclaimed wood from a demolished grain silo was used as exterior siding, for interior partitions and fireplace surrounds. The architects also repurposed a fallen tree for wood slices at the fireplace surround. Tax credits were leveraged for a solar thermal system to create hot water. Water efficient fixtures and energy efficient lighting reduce consumption. Grinding the concrete floor to a polish eliminated sealants.
Smylie Brothers Brewing Company, a craft brewpub and smokehouse in Evanston IL, was inspired by our client’s lifetime of family backyard barbeques and passion for craft beer. It was important to him that the food and brewing process be a shared experience, so the brewery is showcased behind the bar and a pizza oven was located within the dining room.
An existing drop ceiling concealed a beautiful bowstring truss roof structure which, once exposed, transformed the space. The raised roof in the first truss bay creates a mezzanine dining area that occupies the truss and reveals dramatic views of the dining room below. Highlighting the trusses, we up lit the ceiling with indirect light that glows from the reflected wood roof deck. Extending this strategy to reclaimed wood screen partitions lit from within, empty nail holes look like starlight.
The adaptive reuse of this existing building includes an outdoor patio, a through wall fireplace, solar thermal hot water system, water efficient fixtures, energy efficient lighting, and extensive material reuse in the finish details. Reclaimed wood from a demolished grain silo was used as exterior siding, for interior partitions and fireplace surrounds. Gabion walls serve as planters and define the patio. Burlap acoustic wall panels help manage sound in the space and were stenciled with graphics. Craft beer bottle caps were collected through construction and incorporated into the bathroom wall tile. Industrial stainless mesh was used at railings and doors to evoke summer days on screen porches.