Meet MOTIV: The architects behind the Granary’s thoughtful design

MOTIV Architects

Principals at MOTIV Architects, Tracey Mactavish and Asher deGroot are the architectural minds behind The Granary at Southlands – the space that Four Winds Brewing Co. will come to occupy in 2023. With the belief that thoughtful design has the ability to connect people and transform communities, their vision for The Granary is predicated on creating a space that connects the land and people harmoniously. The duo passionately work in service of the communities in which their projects come to life, with agriculture and innovation serving as core focus areas of the work they do. With a research base to inform all of their projects, Tracey and Asher work to understand the people and places where they work to ensure design excellence, which entails taking in all aspects of a project’s impact into account.

When asked what drew them to the Granary project, the connection to the land is a big part of what grabbed them from the get-go as an opportunity for them to distill their roots in agriculture. Tracey and Asher were able to incorporate agriculture directly into the architecture by utilizing unexpected spaces to create opportunities for on-site agriculture and not just in the nearby fields. For example, the Granary offers trellises that are designed to grow hops off the side of the building. This feature will not only be a visual expression but it will also be used in the production of some of the Four Winds beers in the brewery. There are also apple trees, barley and blueberries surrounding the space – using planted elements that are edible will connect people to the ethos of Southlands and its agricultural underpinning.

The Granary courtyard
The central garden courtyard

When it comes to the building itself, Tracey and Asher drew their inspiration from the history and surrounding farms to understand the context of what they are doing. They looked at older typologies of barns and sheds and farm buildings, but also the space in between them and how that would have been used historically. With this as inspiration, they then created something contemporary and about the times we live in now, with a more modern look at details and how those spaces can be used in a current day context.

The Granary Exterior
Granary Courtyard Birdseye
The streetview and central courtyard of The Granary

When they envision their project coming to life, something that excites them is to witness how people will use and move and gather in the space they’ve imagined. In particular, they look forward to seeing people in the courtyard space enjoying a long table dinner and delighting in the food that comes from the place they are dining. The magic of Southlands is in the community and the connection to agriculture and The Granery embodies it all. Witnessing a thoughtfully designed project used as intended is rewarding, and the MOTIV team anticipate that The Granary will be exactly that – a space for residents to gather, connect and enjoy farm-fresh local food.