Middle West Spirits Addition and Renovation

Middle West Spirits Addition and Renovation

Columbus, Ohio

Middle West Spirits
General Contractor
Sullivan Builders, Inc.
Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design
Completion Date
Construction Cost
$4 million
Project Size
16,000 Square Feet
2017 AIA Columbus Honor Award for excellence in architectural design

For several years, the Middle West Spirits artisan small-batch distillery operated out of a 9,000-square-foot, 1920s-era warehouse in an urban neighborhood. When the company decided to expand, plans to increase capacity involved adding new distillery equipment, a public tasting room, a bottle shop and offices. Although the warehouse’s roof crowned at approximately 16 feet above the floor, the new distillery equipment included several large fermenting tanks and copper stills rising more than 50 feet tall.

The project scope included adding five stories of vertical space to accommodate the new stills without disrupting the facility’s distillery and production operations. SMBH, Inc. worked closely with the owner and general contractor to ensure a successful outcome for this ambitious expansion. The one-story building was approximately 50 feet wide and 160 feet long, with steel bowstring trusses at 17 feet on center supporting a wood-deck barrel-vault roof. To add vertical space, a section of the roof and four bays of trusses were removed from the center of the building and replaced with a 55-foot-tall tiered steel-frame structure that extends up through the original roof. A production platform was also added, providing a series of steel-structured mezzanine levels that climb to the uppermost sections of the stills. The first mezzanine level is located 19 feet above the floor, with additional levels at 25 feet, 35 feet, 45 feet and at the roof at 55 feet.

Above the barrel-vault roof, the steel frame was clad entirely in a Kalwall translucent panel system that looks white in the daytime, but glows from the interior lighting at night, creating a luminous beacon in the neighborhood.

This project exceeded all expectations, housing the tallest still in Ohio and winning the 2017 AIA Columbus Honor Award for excellence in architectural design.