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2018 Commercial Design Awards

Creative interiors stood out to a trio of judges who selected the winners in our annual Commercial Design Awards program.

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Yahara Bay Distillery

Best New Development or Renovation – Retail

After 10 years in operation, Nick and Catherine Quint had an intoxicating reason to celebrate business success. Their Yahara Bay Distillery had expanded beyond the capacity of its original industrial park location, and it was time to think big. In so doing, they produced one of our CDA judges’ favorite entries.

Following the evaluation of possible locations, the Quints chose their new location in Fitchburg that offers triple the square footage of their original facility. Perhaps its most unique feature is the multitude of programmed spaces and needs functions that are accommodated, including increased production, expanded retail and public house areas, and a 180-person event center.

Key to the project is the addition of the event center and the expansion of an art gallery that showcases local artists. The Quints wanted to stay true to their community, artisan, and craft production roots, and their desire to convey a sense of the handcrafted nature of their products was a primary influence on the aesthetics and overall design.

One enthusiastic CDA judge admitted to being “blown away” by this project, noting a consistent “architectural vocabulary” and well executed, inventive detailing. “In the bar, I appreciated how they used that wood envelope to create an environment that’s a bit more intimate, which was a really nice move,” he states. The same judge also thought the illuminated bottle wall was a “cool” element and a great way to integrate both display and architecture.

Another judge felt this project did the best job of reinforcing a brand. “What was great about this project was that the values of the distillery itself were articulated in the design of the spaces,” he notes. “You can see that there is an interest in the warmth of the wood and there is also interest in the distilling process.”

Project credits

Location: 6250 Nesbitt Road, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53719
Owners: Nick and Catherine Quint
General Contractor: Harmony Construction Management
Architect: Aro Eberle Architects
Design: Spruce Studio (graphic design), Aro Eberle Architects (exhibit design), Thysee Design (exhibit fabrication), and Hellenbrand Glass (bottle wall fabrication)
Completion Date: January 2017

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