KOGAA, distillery, renovation, office, coworking space

The Distillery-Social Reactor | KOGAA Studio

| 16 : 00 – 11 August 2018 |


The Distillery, Social Reactor, KOGAA studio, Interior design, Renovation


19th century built historic and inactive distillery gets a makeover restoration by Czech based KOGAA Studio to accommodate multifunctional spaces. 

Aiming to install life, re-brand a ageing and nonfunctional space, KOGAA studio preserved the old charm of this abandoned distillery. Combining modern day co-working spaces, office and event hall part from a pop-up bar in an elevator shaft, the designers maintained the structure’s authenticity. The rustic workspace spread around a open yard also has studios, apartment and workshop spaces turning the distillery into a multifunctional hub.


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Building exteriors, historical renovation, Building photography

Office spaces connected to the yard


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Building exteriors, historical renovation, Building photography

Lighting along the stairway access

From the Architects – 

The Distillery – Social Reactor is a self-initiated re-adaptation project of an inactive Distillery factory into a multi-functional center for cultural events and work-spaces.


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Building exteriors, historical renovation, Building photography

The open yard connects the pop-up bar and other spaces in Distillery

The project is the first prototype of Social Reactor, KOGAA’s slow development lab tackling the problematic of  inactive structures and their adaptation into substitute functions. Within the context of a post-industrial city with a strong past in the textile production, The Distillery is a representative example of how a vacant property can become a vibrant location, playing an active role on the urban and economic transformation of the surrounding neighbourhood and life of the city.

The Distillery, Social Reactor, Floor plan

Ground floor plan


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Co-working space, KOGAA studio

Working space along the window bay

One of the latest and most impactive structural interventions was carried out at second and third level of the building. In this space the central beam system was removed to create a double height hall and two balconies facing the central space. The former is meant for presentations, lectures, and workshops, while the upper balconies are dedicated to designers’ ateliers and offices.

The Distillery, Social Reactor, Axonometric view

Axonometric view of the renovated distillery


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Interior design, historical renovation

Multiple spaces for multiple activities

History – 

Originally part of a Distillate factory founded by a Jewish family in the early years of the 19th century, the four-storey structure is the last one standing out of seven connected buildings. The new programme is distributed across all three levels of the building. The multiple functions are spread out across different spaces, creating a dynamic and challenging working environment.


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Building Interiors, historical renovation, Metal stairs

Metal stair access to the double height space

Restoration – 

Driven by the succession of programs hosted since its new occupants moved in, all restoring interventions were carried out.  This was done in order to best utilize the spaces through their inherited qualities. For instance, before its latest stage as a co-working center, the main hall was a event venue and later an art cinema.


The Distillery, Social Reactor, Building interiors, historical renovation

Studio and Workshop area


Meeting room

The need for heat and acoustic insulation led to the installation of a continuous rubber strip along its walls. Most recently, a double floor box-like addition was introduced to accommodate a shared meeting room, a kitchenette, a library and working spaces. Entirely built out of recycled materials from previous events, the wooden structure is surrounded by polycarbonate and corrugated plastic.

The Distillery, Social Reactor, Building sections, historical renovation

Building sections

Bar –

In order to improve the qualities of services within the creative spaces, a bar was introduced in the inner yard. This was done by engaging the existing historical elevator.


Lift shaft transformed into smallest bar.. !

Its cabin was transformed into the preparation area, meanwhile its shaft is working as the installation duct, allowing the usage of more complex equipment. The limited size of the cabin certainly makes it the smallest bar in the country.

Cosy green interaction space in the office area


KOGAA studio, Office space, The Distillery, Czech Republic

Event space

The lack of spacious yet affordable spaces in the city center leads to a growing interest from the architects of KOGAA, under the umbrella of Social Reactor, to find new partners and locate new spaces with the potential of re-conversion and adaptation.

KOGAA studio, Office space, The Distillery, Czech Republic

Co-working spaces

Project details –


Project Name – The Distillery-Social Reactor

Architect Firm – KOGAA Studio | www.kogaa.eu

Project location – Brno, Czech Republic

Client name – Social Reactor

Lead Architect – Alexandra Georgescu, Tomas Kozelsky, Viktor Odstrcilik

Project type – Historical preservation, Renovation, Multi-use building, Office

Photography Credits – © BoysPlayNice

Project year – 2016 – 2018

Completion year – 2018

Builtup – 650 m2 | Site size – 370 m2




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