Pewabic PotteryDetroit, MI

Sachse Construction completed the addition to Pewabic Pottery’s 107-year-old facility in Detroit, MI.

Originally constructed in 1907, the facility is a National Historic Landmark and Detroit mainstay, contributing its handcrafted tiles to the cityscape and beyond for over 100 years. The project marked Pewabic’s first expansion since 1912 and it represents a major new development in the East Village neighborhood. Continuing Pewabic Pottery’s commitment to Detroit, the addition provides more space for production, ensuring the organization can continue to grow.

The project team faced a unique challenge of integrating the new addition with a 107-year-old historic building while the original structure remained occupied and operational. The connecting doorway was where the pottery’s original tile dryer stood, requiring the construction team to coordinate the delivery and installation of a new Blaauw custom tile dyer to ensure Pewabic did not lose any production time as they switched operations to their new dryer so the old one could be removed for the doorway construction and decommissioned.

A key element of the project was building a space that contained all the required elements to meet the studio’s current needs while also blending the original 1907 aesthetic to the new, modern addition. The project’s schedule was specially sequenced to account for the long lead time of the white roman brick that makes up the majority of the building’s exterior. Sachse Construction carefully coordinated and tracked the production of the brick, from its manufacturing in Spain to its prominent installation on the building’s façade, accented with custom-made Pewabic iridescent tiles.

The Pewabic building is on the National Historic Landmark registry and was named 2018’s Outstanding Project of the Year by NAWIC. Working in partnership with Pewabic Pottery, the project was also a recipient of Sachse Construction’s 2018 Play It Foreward Charity Golf Outing proceeds.