Chicago-based Omega Yeast produces high-quality yeast for professional and amateur brewers. Having outgrown their facilities in renovated buildings, the company asked Valerio Dewalt Train (VDT) to expand operations with a new building next door that would be tailored to the unique needs of their business and respond to the residential neighborhood and the adjacent commuter rail tracks and station.
To protect neighbors from noise, VDT located production facilities to the back, close to Omega’s existing facility and the rail line, and placed lab spaces, offices, and a break room on the residential side. Facing the neighborhood, the volume is clad in black corrugated metal to make the building visually disappear behind landscaping.
On the side facing the station platform, second-floor lab spaces have wraparound windows to give commuters glimpses into the science of yeast-making. A large glazed opening by the patio along the alley exposes brewing facilities to commuters as well, while one of the two grain silos showcases the company’s logo on a background of “Omega Yeast Blue.” White brick, black and white corrugated metal, warm wood finishes, and blue accents reinforce the company’s brand inside and out.