Built in 1892, this complex is the sole survivor of the Providence area's three large pre-prohibition breweries. It features enormous interior volumes, once needed to accommodate "vertical" brewing. Located in Eagle Square at the foot of Federal Hill, with high visibility from highway and railroad corridors, it is an excellent candidate to continue the former industrial neighborhood's transformation into a retail and residential destination.
For many years used as a records-storage business, DUAL's designs envisioned a mixed-use tenancy including microbrewery, performance venue, apartments, retail and offices. Our proposed facade designs reopened bricked-up windows and cut new ones where needed for the proposed interior uses, tied to the rhythm of the strongly molded red-brick facade. This work, along with a National Register of Historic Properties designation, qualified the building for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.
The building’s size gives it a considerable urban presence, and DUAL understood this project as being as much about urban design as adaptive reuse. Our design for an exterior stair tower signals the reinhabitation of the building and adds a distinctive element to its background massing. The activation of a semi-public green space on Eagle Square is a first step towards establishing the square as a recognizable place beyond the traffic interchange it is today.
DUAL’s work on this 80,000 square-foot structure included an existing-conditions assessment and life-safety upgrade, a planning and feasibility study, a schematic design for mixed use, including new structural and mechanical systems. The building’s fireproof construction features vaulting suspended from concrete slabs, which creates unusually high ceiling-to-floor depths. This, plus the demands of the original brewery program and decades of additions, makes for an especially complex set of sectional conditions.