As a National Historic Landmark, Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery has been handcrafting pottery and architectural tiles for public and private buildings in the United States for over a century. In response to reaching the physical limits of working space, this addition has more than doubled Pewabic’s current production space. The addition establishes an open floor plan that allows for a flexible work layout and easy work flow for fabrication. It improves working conditions for artists, introducing natural light and ergonomic workspaces, while also providing a more compelling visitor experience.
The exterior façade is designed to highlight Pewabic’s artistry as well as integrate into the fabric of the residential neighborhood. The proportions, texture, and street presence reflect the surrounding context while still emphasizing the studio’s importance. The simplicity of a modest form and single building material — white roman brick — compliments the existing historic structure without the adoption of mimicry. The brick serves as a canvas on which Pewabic’s iridescent tiles, created with custom 3D printed molds, are highlighted and integrated into a unique computationally-driven brick pattern. The addition is designed to stand as a testament of Pewabic Pottery’s legacy of craftsmanship while also gesturing towards a sustainable future of innovation.