New Riff Distillery Addition & Renovation

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

Tasting bourbon has a simple set of guidelines: Observe, Nose, Taste, and Finish. The same guidelines can lead The New Riff Distillery experience.

New Riff is a young company which quickly developed a cutting edge and respected reputation amongst stalwarts. It needed to expand production and provide a VIP space to cater to the market of their award-winning bourbons.

Observe - The founder had the bold vision to build a distillery in the footprint of a former earthen levee before the bourbon craze took root. New Riff wanted to be authentic to its immediate site and neighborhood context - a new riff on a tradition. The modern structure showcases its industrial core, but also glows warmly from within.

Nose – The complexity of bourbon aromas is akin to the layering of the building; the 2022 addition is a warm note on a well-balanced structure that plays between indulgence and industry. The addition, tailored by site constraints, was able to increase production by 50% while aesthetically melding with the original 12-year-old structure.

Taste – New Riff is an array of flavors organized by a 4x10 grid, playful color patterns mingling with catwalks and tanks. Each space has a view of the distillery in operation, a delightful reminder of why this is a destination. Interlacing complex industrial spaces with public and private functions required delicate coordination of code, specialized experts, and architectural detailing - crafting a curated experience.

Finish – The distillery pairs bold moves, industrial elements, and expanses of glass with moments of high-touch finishes in the intimate VIP tasting and meeting room. The VIP room is appointed with comfortably toned millwork paneling following the grid of the building. The back bar is charred oak barrel style wood to complement the bourbon hue of the backlit bottles and amorphous lights. The graceful sensory stimulation in this space allows a 2-ounce pour to find its finish.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

April, 2022