Understanding a building’s evolution is crucial to determining its future, says Jason Grossi, an architect, assistant professor in the School of Creative Arts, and co-ordinator of the Visual Arts and the Built Environment program.
His latest design project, a home for the Sandwich Brewing Company at 3232 Sandwich Street, opened to the public November 23. An adaptive reuse of a grouping of older historic constructs into a new microbrewery, it is the first construction under the city’s guidelines for the Sandwich Heritage Conservation District.
Grossi put in extensive forensic and historical research before being able to craft a contemporary architectural piece utilizing period-appropriate construction techniques and methods.
“I always try to understand the building so well that it tells me how it should evolve, rather than force my will onto the historic building,” he said.
The original structures were in a state of collapse when Grossi first began research and archival documentation of the historic structure. He learned that the original façade of the building had collapsed around 1950 and replaced with aluminum siding, requiring him to design a new face for the building.
Other cool elements include a hanging metal staircase and a cantilevered slab to support the brew tanks, both of which helped to reduce the weight bearing on the masonry walls.
The microbrewery is open for tours and, of course, beer.