When our friends Bob Kunz and Ross Stephenson brought us see the space they had selected for a second location of their celebrated Highland Park Brewery, we were interested in how the building might influence the design of the space. Sure, it had the things you want in an old LA warehouse: thick brick walls, bowstring trusses, and steel windows. It also had no right angles, a floor that sloped comically, and was comprised of a number of additions of various vintages. We took inspiration from the buildings uncertain, but certainly colorful, history to imagine a formal language that recalls re-purposed industrial infrastructure. A steel and wood volume christened “the Hulk” encloses the coldbox, kitchen, and restrooms, entrances to which are identified by brightly colored cuts into it’s cladding. The bartop snakes through the space with the articulation of a bottling line or conveyor belt. Banquette seating around the perimeter recalls formed concrete footings that could have provided support to long since decommissioned machinery. This new narrative of the space is expressed in a simple palate of materials: stainless steel brew equipment, dark galvanized cladding, reclaimed Douglas Fir bartop and tables (much of it salvaged from the space), and bright orange paint: a nod to the superlative graphic design that has become a hallmark of Highland Park Brewery’s cans and bottle labels.
Photography by Stephen Schauer