Location: Grand Rapids, MI
The Knickerbocker is the fulfillment of a 10-year vision by New Holland Brewing to create a destination brew pub and distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reflecting their unique brand of celebrating art and craft. As a gateway to the City’s historic West Side, New Holland considered the place as a shared and connected pathway. The successful revitalization of the block started by blending the building into the streetscape through the use of stepped massing and contextual masonry details. The creation of wider sidewalks, tree-lined edges, outdoor seating, and street-level transparency provides a neighborhood threshold, making the city block safe, friendly, and inviting. Planning started in May 2014, and identified key opportunities to blend a sustainable balance of food, retail, workplace, and community gathering all in one place.
Completed in September 2016, the 4-story, 60,000-sf mixed-use facility showcases craftsmanship of both New Holland artisans and skilled trades, weaving these moments throughout each unique space. The quest for authenticity informed the design to include exposed steel structures, concrete, wood, whisky barrel staves, and fire. Sculptural tree canopies hover over the 3-story beer hall and its glass hangar doors, which open to both the street and the secluded beer garden that winds between buildings, accentuating the patron’s urban experience. A separate exterior material palette differentiates New Holland from the upper floors ofoffice space, which are accessed via a separate lobby, and includes a large rooftop patio garden overlooking the city.
The combination of a tight design schedule and urban construction site, regulatory and code compliance, and multiple stakeholders, presented the team with constraints that required the skills of artisans, designers, builders, and brewers to craft collaborative creative solutions. The submitting firm provided programming, master planning, architectural, interior, structural, and civil site design services.