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Pivotal Brewing Company




Bristol, Rhode Island



Design Team

John Lusk, Quentin Castle


Commercial Brewery

When the clients first found the location of what would become Pivotal Brewing Company, they had been searching for the right place to start their business; this building was the one that they were looking for. With almost 40 foot ceilings, large windows, and an open floor plan, this was the perfect building for a brewery.

JHL approached this project with sensitivity to both the historic nature of the building, and the needs of the client. The intervention is simple, but effective with the brewing operation to the north part of the building, the walk-in fridge and bar in the center of the space, and the seating for the tap room and bathrooms to the south. This layout allows for a separation between the main brewing area, while still allowing glimpses of the production. Walls are less than half the height of the space, allowing views of the preserved roof structure as well as keeping the space open and airy.

Work on the exteriors mainly focused on restoration of the brickwork, as well as the replacement of the windows and wood trim, all of which were in poor condition. Replacement windows were energy efficient near replicas, and the wood trim was replaced with a rot resistant treated wood with the hope they will last for generations to come.

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At the start of the project, the building was originally attached to a neighboring building. To fully restore the entirety of that façade, the neighboring building had to be peeled back, allowing for blocked windows openings to be restored. 


Peeling back the neighboring building also allowed for the creation of a court yard between the 2 buildings. Being located on the east side of the building, the courtyard mainly sits in the shade for much of the afternoon, making it a great place to cool off during the summer. On the opposite side of the building is a larger more open patio that allows for extra overflow from the main taproom. 

Pivotal is a part of the wider Unity Park development, which was also a project of JHL Tecture. The park as a whole was a winner of the 2023 Preserve Rhode Island "Rhody Awards".

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