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Wineries, Distilleries, and Breweries

Over the past few years, Hinge has been very fortunate to work on a number of alcohol production facilities. They are some of our favorite projects and we have been thinking a lot about why that is – and no it’s not just because of all of the free booze.

A huge part of our love of these projects is of course the people. Winemakers, Distillers and Brewers  are this incredible mix of passion, artistry, knowledge and pragmatism, and in many ways their facilities are a true reflection of that mix as well.

01) One part industrial, one part science, one part magic

Often located in massive industrial buildings, with exposed structure, and a mix of concrete and stainless steel – these buildings have a beautiful raw grit that fits right in with our love of adaptive reuse.

The fermentation and distillation processes are incredibly scientific. Every facility requires a lab and careful planning for things like smell, or contamination that can negatively impact the product. But most of all we love the magic of the process and the logical tangle of catwalks and glycol piping, and shining stainless steel and copper equipment.

02) It's Alive!

Did you know that even after it’s bottled, wine is still actively growing and changing? The life of the fruit or grain does not stop with the harvest. Through the introduction of yeast, life continues throughout production.

As an architect, one of the most exciting challenges is to allow for the varying conditions required for that life to continue in a way most optimal for the final product. Whether it be simply flexible open spaces to allow for the pressing and cleaning of fruit, to the temperature and humidity control required to maintain the proper level of fermentation, to the sensors and exhaust fans required to pull out the CO2 that is a byproduct of the overall process.

03) Flow and Process

Wineries, distilleries, and breweries require the architect to understand the practical functionalities of production equipment and product movement. Simple things like ensuring wine and cider flow through the process of pressing, fermentation, aging, and bottling requires understanding the flow and movement of equipment, raw materials, and products. We need to make sure there is enough space for the right infrastructure where it needs to be.

We love the brain puzzle that results from packing the most into every project and making sure things like racking of barrels, or turning radius of forklifts, or slot drains for cleaning tanks all function the way they should.

Did you know that often large tanks require reinforcing an existing concrete slab to hold the weight of all of that yummy beverage or that waste water from wineries requires extra filtration and onsite separation of solids before it enters the municipal waste stream? Yes we know, we are a little nerdy, but that’s part of why we love these projects.

04) Beautiful Functionality

The artist in us loves the intricate beauty of a stack of barrel racks, the repetition of endless stacks of barrels,  the logical order of gleaming rows of tanks and equipment. We love finding ways to show off the equipment to visitors and to celebrate the beauty for the users.

05) The Experience

But perhaps most of all we love the experience of meeting these amazing people who are so passionate about the magic of distillation. We love sitting in the their beautiful spaces whether wild and rustic, or urban and industrial and learning and understanding and of course tasting!

Hinge Studio has had the good fortune of working with a wonderful group of wineries, distilleries, cideries and breweries and we very much hope to continue to grow this list of happy clients:

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