‘Manufaktūra’ is situated in a historic manufacture building, which is adapted to the needs of a brewery and a café. The concept of this project is driven by the architects’ aspiration to highlight the long life of this unpretentious building and the various transformations it has experienced in the past. The result emphasises the diversity of historical building approaches and techniques complementing them with yet another, contemporary layer that once again adapts the building to a new function. The aesthetic of the building is conceived as a manifestation of sustainability and reuse.
The building is located in a quarter that was historically dedicated to the industry, but is now gradually becoming an open neighbourhood centre with retail, business and cultural enterprises. As part of the process, it was very important to open this area and integrate it into the surrounding urban environment by removing the fence along Mārkalnes street and realising an inviting landscape design. Plants chosen for the greenery visually resemble cereal grass, which reminds of the ingredients of beer. Both the facades and the landscape design are respectful towards the character of the area and the surrounding buildings; they are conceived with the intention to preserve and strengthen it. The aesthetic of this reconstruction helps to establish a positive relationship with the site’s past and identity, and it increases value of the heritage of industrial architecture, which does not have the status of a historical cultural monument.
The functional layout is conceived aiming at preservation and adaptation of the existing spatial structure as much as possible. The bar is located in the double-height part of the building, where also a platform is built on the second-floor level with an exit to the roof terrace. Part of the terrace continues on a new concrete structure, which forms a canopy above the entrance. In the premises of the brewery and in the entrance area of the bar, the upper-level floor has been removed, preserving only its load-bearing structure–wooden beams. As a result of these transformations, the building has become “transparent”, new perspectives have been created, which visually connect the spaces of diverse functions on different levels. On the second floor, there are premises for the administration and public events, such as beer tasting.
An important leitmotif, with various manifestations, is sustainability. The building, its spatial layout, and its visual aspect, are preserved as much as possible, becoming themselves the messengers of a new value paradigm. Reduction of the ecological footprint is equally significant, and here it is done in various ways including the adaptation of the existing built volumes to a new function, by the use of second-hand furniture, and by designing new furniture pieces from reclaimed materials. Finally, the new structures are designed in materials that are inherently durable, and furthermore, do not require additional finishing for practical or aesthetic reasons.