Legion Brewing: A Friendly Interior

Presented by: Jeanne Mercer-Ballard

Legion Brewing’s motto is “Friends and Beer” and at the first meeting, the client requested a friendly interior. He wanted the interior to be warm, welcoming, laid back, inviting, and not fussy. He also wished it to be environmentally-friendly and desired the use of honest, solid, reclaimed and salvage materials. He challenged the designer to use several 2x10s, steel “I” beams, casework (for holding instruments and sheet music) and signage which were on site from the building’s former use, an instrument and music store named Brodt Music. An old piano was placed in the back corner and “friends” can make themselves “at home” and plunk away. Several Brodt music signs and letters are also reused. The concept for the interior is “honesty” thus using solid, exposed materials as often as possible. Other challenges on the project were that the client had a very low budget and is a contractor, which had pros and cons, but he was very open to new ideas. He questioned every design decision and often revised the design during construction as you can see when comparing some of the final images with the construction drawings. The Taproom interior also pays homage to the building’s past use as the reclaimed pallet wood ceiling is an abstracted piano keyboard and the vertical details of the half-walls and screens also mimic the keyboard. One of the biggest challenges in the space was the 9’-2” existing ceiling height from the concrete floor slab to the concrete ceiling in the Taproom space. The designer detailed a ceiling that would warm the space, hide low profile LED downlights and conduit while maximizing the height. The bar top used end grain reclaimed wood, the die is reclaimed wood, and the bar footrest is a repurposed “I” beam. Tables and booths are also constructed from reclaimed and salvage wood and the seating includes a variety of used chairs from salvage stores. Existing instrument and sheet music cases were repainted and used in the Taproom as storage and sales shelving. On the cases are displayed pickled goods for sale and many board games for the “friends” to play. Even the restrooms used reclaimed materials as the walls were partially tiled with old toilet tank lids adding a bit of fun to the interior. Toilet partitions were designed with reclaimed wood. All new light fixtures are LED with a warm color temperature making the existing concrete floored space feel more comfortable and friendly. The existing floor was originally to be stained a warmer color, but was cut due to budget although the client hopes to stain the floor in the future. Existing “Brodt Music” signage was refurbished and reused including a nineteen-forties neon sign on the roof. In the Brewery, the existing wood barrel vault ceiling was exposed and provides character and a friendly atmosphere in the space. From the Taproom, you look down into the brewery space and the warm tile pattern created for this clean space. The reclaimed, repurposed, reused, honest materials, and lighting combine to create a warm, inviting, friendly atmosphere for the friends.