Posts tagged with "Deborah Berke":

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“Columbus” is an ode to the Indiana city’s modernist architecture

The Columbus we know best is not in Indiana. But Kogonada’s eponymous feature film shifts our attention to a lesser-known Midwestern city in Indiana, one with a progressive reputation and a travel destination for architecture aficionados. Columbus introduces this exceptional city with its rich modernist heritage to a larger audience. Atypical in its blend of a documentary style and narrative, it was screened at Sundance to surprising critical success and presented at the prestigious BAM Cinefest. The debut film marks Kogonada’s transition from videographer to filmmaker. The impeccable framing and characteristic lingering shots reveal Kogonada’s deep involvement with the work of director Jasujiro Ozu, the subject of his unfinished dissertation. The long slow takes that heighten the dramatic presence of the characters and a meticulous attention to place and historical context suggest the influence Neorealist auteurs. With this cinematic foundation, Kogonada goes on to develop a hybrid approach to filmmaking. The result of his efforts is an indelible portrait of place. Indeed, we leave the theatre with a feeling we have been there, led through a small selection of modernist buildings on one of the official architectural tours. Unlike most cities, with their abandoned city centers, spotty pockets of skyscrapers, and suburban sprawl, Columbus has an astonishing number of ground-hugging public buildings and businesses, and the film explores the impact this architecture has on the city and its inhabitants. But Kogonada has a more ambitious and complex project in mind. The film is driven by a spare, somewhat improbable narrative. Jin, played by John Cho, is a translator stranded in the city while his semi-estranged father, a famous architectural historian, is hospitalized for a coma following a stroke. We witness his encounter with Casey, played by the highly lauded Haley Lu Richardson, a tour guide who has relinquished her studies to take care of her heroine-addicted mother. Casey leads Jin through the city, introducing him to her favorite buildings. She, an ardent supporter of her town’s rich architectural heritage, tries to convey how she is personally affected by the buildings. She describes the moment she first “saw” them and what they meant to her. Casey claims most people “don’t give a shit about architecture,” but Deborah Berke’s First Financial Bank speaks to her in a profound way. Are we to suppose that it offers a sense of order in her otherwise chaotic life? Can we then understand how modern architecture engenders that sense of stability in a complex world? Casey explains that Berke deploys a basic asymmetry, and then works to create “a delicate balance” among the parts. They discuss the merits of James Polshek’s claim that architecture is “responsible for healing,” as they stand before his bridge leading to the hospital. Two Saarinen churches elicit questions about religion and modern architecture. These and other issues constitute the conversations between the two characters as they meet and move through the city exploring the buildings. We observe them observing, we see what they see, and are invited to ponder the questions with them. To clarify and enrich our understanding of the modernist architecture, the camera sets up a kind of compare-and-contrast as it moves from the public buildings to the interiors of Casey’s modest, low-lit home where she resides with her mother. Close cropped shots of quotidian details conjure the claustrophobic, yet cozy environment in striking contrast with those of the lavish Edwardian Irwin Inn where Jin resides. “Not very modernist,” he claims, stating the obvious, yet at the time of the final renovation in 1910, it was praised for its modern use of electricity, telephone, intercom, and even a hydraulic elevator. We wander through lavish rooms pausing over the British oak furniture, silk lined walls, tiles from France and Wales, and explore the extravagant gardens in long takes as leaves on a single tree flutter in a gentle breeze. These images provide the backdrop for an asexual yet emotionally charged and intensely intimate friendship between the two as they recount their lives and struggles. The terse dialogue is punctuated by long silences as we await their self-realizations. But somehow, despite the careful structure and fine acting, the storyline of their relationship ultimately fails to move us. The architecture of the plot is revealed in the way that structural systems are deliberately exposed in some buildings. Perhaps this parallel was Kogonada’s intention? Ultimately, the contrivance of the plot lessens the transformative impact of the story. On the contrary, what moves us most is Elisha Christian’s cinematography. Each shot seems deliberate, designed to reveal the way buildings work. One watches indistinguishable figures moving through passageways in the distance while the actors converse in the foreground. A skateboarder surprises us as he glides across the screen only to disappear into the shadows through a hallway in the background. Perhaps the most powerful moments occur when Casey discovers that her mother has resumed lying to her. We see Casey, hidden in the dark, telephoning one of the cleaners working through the night, her red shirt punctuating the brightly lit office. This scene calls to mind Krzysztof Wodiczko’s projection piece at the Venice Biennale in 2009, in which he created a Venetian arcade along the interior walls of the exhibition space. Between each column was a scrim with what appeared to be shadows of the piazza beyond, rather like a camera obscura. Wodiczko conjured life in the streets, and we hear barely audible fragments of conversations coming from the invisible piazza. In contrast, what we see in Columbus is a single, solitary figure moving through stark, pristine spaces. The only sounds are those of the tete-a-tetes of our characters. What pervades this film is the silence of Edward Hopper’s paintings and a profound loneliness mediated by the promise of modern architecture. ­
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Deborah Berke Partners transforms Buffalo asylum into resort and conference center

For a psychiatric hospital built in the late 19th century, the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane in Buffalo, New York, was remarkably ahead of its time. At the request of physician Thomas Story Kirkbride, who helmed the hospital’s design, emphasis was placed on access to natural light, fresh air, and pastoral views to benefit patient well-being. It was originally completed in 1880, combining Victorian and Romanesque elements.

Deborah Berke Partners (DBP) recently completed the asylum’s metamorphosis into the Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center. “The intentions for this building were about it being a welcoming and safe space,” said Stephen Brockman, senior principal of DBP. “The graciousness of the space is what’s fascinating. You open these doors, and it’s breathtaking,”

That said, converting the former asylum – located in the central portion of the sprawling National Historic Landmark Richardson Olmsted Campus – into a 191,000-square-foot luxury boutique hotel and conference center without losing its character was not without its challenges.

During early presentations of the project to the local community, conversations with the relatives of people who had spent time at the hospital and felt a close relationship with it created a desire “to make it feel like it was still theirs,” Brockman said. “Our interventions were subtle.”

The hotel and conference center houses 88 guest rooms, multiple conference facilities, a fine dining restaurant, a bar, and a cafe. Of the campus’s original 11 buildings, the hotel comprises three central buildings that were the asylum’s administrative hub and patient housing.

Along with the exterior, original interior elements, including windows, interior shutters, plasterwork, stairs, and tile and wood floors were preserved, while the grand staircase was restored. The spacious hallways, 200 feet long and 15 feet wide, were also kept intact. These corridors, which were originally called “day rooms” and functioned as the asylum’s social spaces, were flooded with ventilation and light to aid patient recovery.

“The grandeur of the building simply cried out to be a destination, so this is a perfect fit,” said Jean Carroon, principal at Goody Clancy, preservation architects for the project. “The exterior is rugged and beautiful. The interior has the high ceilings, natural daylight, and views, which were part of its first life.”

To transform the building into a modern hotel welcoming the 21st-century traveler, a flagstone-and-granite entry plaza was added. A new, second entrance, in glass and steel, glows at night, as do newly illuminated towers, lit internally to serve as beacons. A staircase created within the second entrance features an illuminated glass handrail and leads to the second-floor lobby. An attic was converted into large, loft-like guest suites with partially exposed beams and high, sloped ceilings. Guest rooms were updated in neutral tones and will feature works by local artists.

Landscape architecture and planning firm Andropogon Associates updated and restored the grounds, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, adding a new roadway in Olmsted’s aesthetic, as well as guest parking. Andropogon also planted 125 new trees, interspersed with rain gardens of switchgrass, as well as grapevines and hawthorns.

It was important to pay homage to the hotel’s history as an asylum more prominently as well. To that end, Carroon noted, several patient rooms have been completely restored and will be part of the campus’s historic tours when the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center opens in late 2017 as a co-tenant with Hotel Henry. Celebrating Buffalo’s rich architectural history and honoring the site’s legacy, the center will feature a 400-square-foot interactive exhibit about the asylum and the history of mental health treatment in the U.S. 

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Vote for your favorite adaption of the New York State Pavilion

Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion, located in Queens, was once part of the 1964 Worlds Fair. Now it is the only remaining structure from the event. Years of neglect has seen the pavilion fall into a state of disrepair. However, all does not appear to be lost thanks to The National Trust for Historic Preservation, People for the Pavilion, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. Together, they have organized an ideas competition in an attempt to bring the pavilion back to life. The competition so far has received a number of submissions up for public vote. The current frontrunners are a hydroponic farm (essentially a farm that uses nutrient water instead of soil) and a flexible exhibition space. The former an ambitiously wants to demonstrate a process that could "feed cities into the next century" while the latter envisions an outdoor performance area and park. In recent memory, the pavilion's only claim to fame was its appearance in Iron Man 2 where it played host to the Stark Expo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bchp8boR0Dc The pavilion's appearance on screen however, has done little to bolster its circumstances, although a fresh coat of paint was added in fall last year. The New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition now hopes to "spark a conversation about the value of historic preservation," citing Johnson's work as an "irreplaceable structure" that is one of Queens' "most significant assets." Submissions so far mostly depict colorful scenes that refer back to the pavilion's original red and yellow coloring. These include the "Queens Pavilion Cheeseburger Museum," "Trampoline Castle," "The Funland of art" (that promises to be "the most fun your kids will ever have"), and the "Pavilion for the People." Others proposals include an observatory, ice-rink, and planetarium. There are few constraints on putting forward an idea. Participants must be over the age of 13 and submit an original idea complete with an image. A Sketchup model of the pavilion has been made available to download to aid contributors. The competition is also free to enter. For now, the public has until July 1 to submit their ideas, with Deborah Berke, founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners and soon to be Dean of the Yale Architecture School and critic Paul Goldberger among others judging the submissions. The jury will select first, second and third place, of which will receive $3,000, $1,000 and $500. The voting system however, will be used to select a "fan favorite" with the winner taking home $500.
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Rumored Financial District supertall by FXFOWLE gets a trim, but will the views make up for it?

Rumor had it that the Financial District would be getting a 1,000-foot-tall tower on Trinity Place. This week, renderings were revealed for the FXFOWLE-designed building, and, at 500 feet, it's considerably shorter than anticipated. As a consolation to supertall lovers out there, every unit will have water views. Seventy Seven Greenwich Street, a 285,000-square-foot mixed-use building in the Financial District will rise 35 stories, the New York Post reports. The 500-foot-tall project will include 7,000 square feet of retail and 85 condominiums, as well as a 476-seat elementary school on floors one through nine. The glass facade design may change, as the architects have not yet decided on the precise tint and configuration of the glass panels. Deborah Berke Partners will take the lead on designing apartment interiors and amenities spaces. In addition to standard offerings like bike storage, the tower will also include a dog spa. The project's completion date is set for 2019. Renderings show 77 Greenwich Street, with a street address at 28–42 Trinity Place, squatting over the landmarked Robert and Anne Dickey House, a federal style townhouse at 28–30 Trinity Place that dates from the early 1800s. Plans call for the interior to be repurposed and the facade restored, though it looks like all other buildings on the block will be demolished. Though this building has a prime location, it is hardly FXFOWLE's biggest New York project. This month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the firm will spearhead the one billion dollar Javits Center expansion and renovation.
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Finding Asylum: Tracing the evolution of five Kirkbride Planned hospitals for the insane

The Victorian-era psychologist Thomas Story Kirkbride advocated the use of fresh air and elegant architecture for healing mental illnesses. Under the Kirkbride Plan for asylums, patients resided in extensive, well-landscaped grounds and palace-like structures. Yet inside, unplanned by the architects, patients often were restrained in chains and dark dungeons and suffered ice-water baths. Fortunately, these immoral practices were abandoned, but so were the Victorian buildings that housed them, and these elegant structures deteriorated from neglect. Many Kirkbride Plan facilities have since been demolished, but at least forty remain. Once shameful and secret, these asylums are revamping community pride and local economies, as architects renovate the properties for a variety of uses.
St. Elizabeths Hospital Southeast Washington, D.C. For example, the 182-acre West Campus of the former Government Hospital for the Insane, later known as St. Elizabeths Hospital, will house the new United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters. This Southeast Washington, D.C. asylum housed up to 8,000 patients, including multiple presidential assassins and would-be assassins, such as Richard Lawrence (Andrew Jackson), Charles J. Guiteau (James Garfield), and John Hinckley, Jr. (Ronald Reagan). Working with DHS, Shalom Baranes Associates and Grunley Construction are repairing the 264,300-square-foot Center Building, originally designed by Thomas U. Walter, the primary architect of the 1851 expansion of the U.S. Capitol building. The Center Building’s seven connected structures originally served as administrative offices and treatment rooms for the Government Hospital for the Insane but will now house all DHS operations, saving $64 million per year in rental costs, since DHS operations are currently scattered across dozens of buildings in the District. Read more from AN here.
Hudson River State Hospital Poughkeepsie, New York In 2007, six years after the Hudson River Psychiatric Center closed, the abandoned asylum was struck by lightning, burning its south wing, what used to be the male housing quarters. In April 2010, two more fires occurred, although these reportedly were intentional. Then, in November 2013, the abandoned, burnt, and deteriorated Gothic Revival structure, was purchased for $4 million. Diversified Realty Advisors and EnviroFinance Group (EFG/DRA Heritage) are transforming it into a $200 million, mixed-use development, called Hudson Heritage. The original grounds were designed by Olmsted & Vaux and the buildings were designed by Frederick Clarke Withers. Four of the 59 original buildings will be re-purposed, whereas the other 55 will be demolished. The development calls for a 350,000 square foot shopping center, 750 single and multifamily residences, and an 80 room hotel, which was an original Kirkbride. Read more from AN here.
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Morris Plains, New Jersey Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital abandoned a 675,000-square-foot, Second Empire Baroque building by architect Samuel Sloan. After the facility closed in 2008, Preserve Greystone, a volunteer organization, emerged to fight for its adaptive-reuse. However, the original Greystone Park could not be saved and was demolished at taxpayers’ expense of $50 million. John Huebner, president of Preserve Greystone, called the demolition “an irretrievable loss for this generation and countless future ones, and an affront to the generation that built it.” Hueber hopes to make a memorial for the site and preserve 1,000 linear feet of granite building facade, two marble columns, decorative pieces, and as many trees as possible. Read more from AN here.
Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane Buffalo, New York The Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, by architect H.H. Richardson and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, is undergoing a $56 million make-over, funded both publicly and privately. The current design team is made up of Flynn Battaglia Architects (executive architect), Deborah Berke Partners (design architect), Goody Clancy (historic preservation architect), and Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (structural engineer). The three main buildings will house a hotel and conference center along with the Buffalo Architecture Center (BAC). Deborah Berke Partners redesigned the north-side entry as a beacon, with a glass entryway, highlighting the coexistence of historic and modern. Construction is underway and is expected to open in fall 2016 as Hotel Henry, Urban Resort Conference Center. Read more from AN here.
Northern Michigan Asylum Traverse City, Michigan Dr. James Decker Munson, the first superintendent of Northern Michigan Asylum, was a firm believer of “beauty is therapy.” He exposed patients to beautiful flowers, provided year round through the greenhouses and trees on the hospital property. The Victorian-Italianate facilities were designed by architect Gordon W. Lloyd and at their peek housed around 3,000 patients. The 63-acre complex closed in 1989, and was vacant until 2002 when Raymond Minervini purchased the entirety for only one dollar. The rehabilitation, called the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, cost $60 million, and by 2005, housed residences, offices, shops, and eateries. The firehouse is now a bakery, and the laundry room is a wine bar and fair-trade coffee shop. The rehabilitation is expected to house 1,000 people–ranging from 300 square foot studio apartments to 3,800 square foot condos– provide 800 jobs, and host farmers markets, easter egg hunts, and beer and dairy festivals. Despite their negative associations, asylums exhibit excellent design and craftsmanship, and are adaptable to an endless variety of uses. Photographer Christopher Payne is an authority on these old facilities, photographing dozens of them for his book, Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals. "Payne, who trained as an architect before turning to photography, is attuned to the incongruously fine detail or trace of order among landscapes of decay," AN's Jeff Byles wrote in a review of an exhibit of the book's photos. "Perhaps the most affecting images in Asylum are those that confront head-on the human experience of asylum life: dozens of toothbrushes hung neatly in a cabinet, each labeled with the name of its owner; patient suitcases piled sadly in an attic; bowling shoes at the ready for a night at the lanes in Rockland" For more photos of abandoned asylums, visit Payne's website here.
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Deborah Berke named dean of Yale School of Architecture

Yale School of Architecture has a new dean today, as the university has announced that New York-based architect Deborah Berke will be the next dean to rule the concrete and paprika halls. The founder of Deborah Berke Partners will start in her new position effective July 1, 2016. Berke has been an adjunct professor at Yale since 1987 and will be the first woman to lead the School of Architecture. She received a B.F.A. and a B.Arch. from the Rhode Island School of Design as well as an honorary doctor of fine arts from the school. She holds an M.U.P. in urban design from the City University of New York. She succeeds the ever-colorful Robert A.M. Stern, dean since 1998. “As a practicing architect and a long-time faculty member in the School of Architecture, Professor Berke is ideally positioned to lead it toward a successful future as it begins its second century,” said Yale president Peter Salovey in a statement. “For more than 30 years, she has dedicated her career — in equal measures — to education and practice. She has taught architectural design using disciplinary approaches both integral to and less commonly associated with the world of architecture. This perspective, in her own words, helps students to understand they are part of a larger cultural conversation.” Berke is the co-editor, with Steven Harris, of The Architecture of the Everyday. In 2008, Yale University Press published Deborah Berke, a book focused on the firm’s work, which was also the first book on a contemporary American architect to be published by Yale Press. A new book on her firm’s work will be published by Rizzoli in 2016.
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Take a look at the view from the tippy top of Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park, the supertall tower that will soon house the world’s billionaires

AN got a rare look at the penthouse of 432 Park, Rafael Viñoly's soon-to-be-tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. After a six-minute ride on the construction lift, expansive, $95 million views open up in a 360 degree panorama from large square windows along all four sides of the full-floor apartment. While the building is still under construction, it has already topped out some 1,396 feet above New York City's sidewalks below. The 85-story tower is expected to be completed early next year, but some of the lower floors will be available for move-in this fall, if you are interested. Deborah Berke is handling the interior architecture in the building. Here are some pictures from the six penthouses at the top of Viñoly’s incredibly tall building on Manhattan’s Billionaires' Row.

Lexington’s 21c Museum Hotel by Deborah Berke Partners Delayed

Those planning Lexington’s 21c Museum Hotel say the $40.5 million project will take longer than expected, but should come sometime in 2015. The growing Louisville-based hotel company bought the historic First National Bank building and an adjacent structure in Lexington's downtown last year, winning city approval for design plans shortly after. Once planned for office tenants, the boutique hotel in Lexington’s downtown apparently sustained more water damage than previously thought. New York–based Deborah Berke Partners has been tapped to design the boutique hotel. The firm also designed 21c Museum Hotels currently operating in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Bentonville, AR. As for its design, 21c CEO Steve Wilson told Kentucky.com:

As in the 21c hotels in Louisville and Cincinnati, the restaurant will be its own entity, with a high profile.

The hotel will not be pretentious, Wilson said: "No gilt mirrors."

Despite the pared-down aesthetic, it will be luxurious, with top-flight service, bedding and amenities; there will be light in all the right places, Wilson said.

There might be polished concrete floors or a chandelier of scissors, he said.

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Deborah Berke Designing 700 Residences in Lower Manhattan Art-Deco Skyscraper

Move over Woolworth Building. Another iconic Lower Manhattan skyscraper is slated for a residential conversion, this time by Deborah Berke Partners and architects of record Steven B. Jacobs Group. The 66-story art deco landmark at 70 Pine Street was built in 1932 as the Cities Service Company, and more recently served as the headquarters of American International Group (AIG), and now developer Rose Associates plans to transform the tower into 700 luxury apartments above a 300-room hotel. Standing at 952 feet tall, 70 Pine was originally the 3rd tallest building in the world, behind the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, and is still one of the tallest in the city. Stylized art deco detailing in stone and aluminum covers the building's exterior and lobby, with a miniature stone model of the structure standing between the building's main entrances (see below). Stephen B. Jacobs, principal of the Stephen B. Jacobs Group, said all significant historical elements of the structure will remain intact in line with NYC Landmarks laws and guidelines for historic tax credits. Individual residences, however, will begin with a clean slate and feature modern design. "The residences will be modern in a way that's inspired by what's already there," said Christopher Yost, Associate Architect at Deborah Berke Partners. "They're designed to be compatible with the existing building." Interior demolition has already begun on site, but Jacobs noted that final plans including the official number of units could change in the future and that a design team for the hotel below the residences has not been finalized. He said four to six apartments are planned per floor  in the tower with more units filling floors on the tower's base. The building's pointed spire, featuring an observation deck and glowing lantern at its pinnacle, will be part of the residential program, but it hasn't been decided whether it will serve as a penthouse or communal space. Construction is expected to take around 18 months, meaning 70 Pine should open sometime in summer 2014.
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Eavesdrop> Bilbao of the Midwest?

If you read this column, you know Eaves loves a party. You also know we self-deprecatingly speak of mediocre Midwestern cities (we’re from Louisville). Even with summer winding down, there’s no need to stick out that lower lip. A slew of—well, ok, three–high profile openings will tickle even the slightest art and architecture enthusiast as Cleveland, East Lansing, and Cincinnati compete for the title of Bilbao of the Midwest. First up, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, designed by Farshid Moussavi Architecture, opens on October 6. Will the Mistake-on-the-Lake become the Rust Belt Riviera? On MOCA’s heels comes the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum on November 9. OK, we don’t know anything about East Lansing other than a school’s there, but—hey!—now they have a Zaha Hadid. And finally, Cincinnati, home to America’s first Hadid, will welcome 21c Museum Hotel by Deborah Berke & Partners. Their website says it will open late 2012. Which project will be an urban game-changer? We could be swayed by opening night invites, but right now my money’s on Cincy.
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Deborah Berke and Students Toast Urban Industry

With investment in American cities on the rise, mixed-use development is all the buzz, but architect Deborah Berke says we must be careful not to leave industry out of the mix. "We need to sway mixed-use back to the direction of a real mix. We've gone to all residential," she said. Berke and critic Noah Biklen just finished teaching an architectural studio at Yale on boutique urban manufacturing, where students explored bringing a bourbon distillery to downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Paired with trips to Louisville and New York to study the bourbon making process and existing urban manufacturing operations, students began the semester by studying the industrial container or wrapper as an object to inform a prototype industrial facility—from tofu to bike seat manufacturing—before moving on to the urban distillery. Each student proposal took a unique approach to urban manufacturing, challenging established notions of how industry functions, looks, and interacts with the city. "I've been teaching a long time and it was a very good day for presentations," Berke said. "I loved the extraordinary diversity of the proposals. There's no single right answer." Students presented the relationship between manufacturing identity, brand identity, and architecture as a cohesive whole, finishing up the semester by designing a branding strategy for each distillery including a proposed bourbon bottle. The students' distilleries occupied a portion of a prominent block along Louisville's Main Street, opposite a row of former bourbon warehouses nicknamed Whiskey Row, which is slated for renovation into, among other things, a boutique distillery. Ranging in size from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet, program requirements included distillation components, storage "rackhouses," bottling operations, loading areas, and a public component including a lobby. Among the issues explored by the students was whether all components of the manufacturing process should be included in an urban setting and how much the public should be invited into the new facility. Their final presentations in late April wowed the jury, which consisted of Patrick Bellew, Andy Bow, Joe Day, Eric Doninger, Karen Fairbanks, Martin Finio, Ann Marie Gardner, Alan Plattus, Annabelle Selldorf, and Henry Urbach. "I vetted everybody as a bourbon drinker," Berke quipped at the review. The review wrapped up with a toast—of bourbon, of course—and one last discussion of the future of urban manufacturing. Berke said the student proposals demonstrate how boutique industries can operate in an urban environment. "Architecture and design can help citizens visualize the potential of boutique manufacturing," Berke said. "I don't think architects can create an industrial model. They can create an urban model." Boutique industry emerging in cities is all about products that already have an urban market. Daniel Dickens' Alchemy Bourbon, situated on the site's most prominent corner, is divided into two zones, the distillery and a series of separated storage warehouses, providing for fire protection for the highly flammable spirit as it ages. Each small "rackhouse" is positioned in a landscaped yard to provide varying climactic conditions that impact the product's flavor profile. Dickens chose a Cor-ten classing for its appearance of strength and the rusting process of change as it reflects the aging of bourbon. Kathryn Lenehan proposed a glass box covered with wooden louvers reclaimed from old bourbon barrels for her Oak & Char distillery that reveal the theatricality of the industrial process to the street outside. Operable windows allow natural ventilation inside the facility and a great hall through the center organizes a bar and tasting room, garden, and theater alongside industrial functions. Margaret Hu's Black Diamond Bourbon Distillery positions a new semi-transparent black box alongside a repurposed historic building wrapping the multi-layered industrial processes inside. Daylight seeps through the light-transmitting fiber-cement facade, creating a sense of intrigue inside. Spaces containing various components of the distillation process are positioned to create a sense of unknown origin when walking through the space, inviting visitors to explore further. Seema Kairam opted to focus on bourbon production, leaving the storage component in a less-centralized location to mitigate real estate costs and flammability at her River Bend Bourbon distillery. The facility is imagined as high-tech glass shed covered in metal louvers able to bridge various scales of production depending on how much bourbon is desired. Spaces are organized around shared expertise and shared equipment accessed through a system of catwalks. Lauren Page's Main Market seeks to exploit the site's eroded urban form to insert a sliver of green space forming an armature that could guide future urban growth. Dispensing with the production process completely, the project operates as a public market for boutique distillers to sell their wares. The building's form winds through the city and under Main Street with a linear park above. Mollie Ponto chose to reuse two of the historic Whiskey Row buildings across from the original site with a new glass and steel rackhouse at one end for her Repository Row Bourbon distillery. The proposal takes advantage if the sloping site's varying entry levels to allow separation of loading facilities from a public entrance. An educational component including a bourbon archive plays a key role in the distillery's design, forming a central spine around which the industrial processes are organized. Rafael Ng proposed a courtyard layout for his distillery he described as a "gastronomic temple." Clad in a light-emitting brick-latticework in a flemish-bond pattern, the exterior facade resembled a modern take on traditional rackhouse design in rural Kentucky. Accessed from a corner, industrial processes wrap around the courtyard, which could hold public functions such as markets or dinners. Francesco Galetto's Chester Prescott Distillation Tower stacks the distillery's industrial processes to create a gravity-powered, closed-system vertical factory topped with a tasting room on its roof. Grains are elevated to the top of the tower and proceed through a distillation process wrapped around a central core, as demonstrated in the unwound section above. The tower's facade is left open around to reveal the industrial processes happening inside and is wrapped with a bronze ribbon that reflects the chemical process of distillation. John Lacy's Cabinet of Curiosities proposal focuses on bourbon making not only as industry, but as a form of art. The distillery is organized around a linear procession of sensory experiences, from the sensation of touching grain as it enters the facility from a rooftop funnel, to the smell of mash cooking in large vats, to the rattling sound of the distillation process. Organized around an industrial courtyard, the structure is shrouded in a metal mesh veil acting as a unifying element of the design. Diana Nee proposed an "urban-industrial spectacle" along an alleyway at the block for her Alley Industries distillery. The 40-foot-wide building is clad in glass on the north facade to reveal the industrial activity inside and hovers atop the alley below to bring new life to the historic city infrastructure. The south facade incorporates permeable, plantable mesh allowing for natural ventilation and includes two rooftop spheres that capture carbon dioxide from the manufacturing process. All images courtesy respective students. Click on a thumbnail to launch slideshow.  
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Deborah Berke’s Yale Studio Exploring Urban Manufacturing (and Bourbon)

American manufacturing may be on the rocks, but Deborah Berke, principal at Deborah Berke & Partners, believes that by adding a little bourbon, one Kentucky city can make an industrial comeback. Berke is leading a graduate studio at Yale exploring the future of boutique manufacturing in the United States and using an urban distillery in Louisville as a case study. "I have been passionate about urban manufacturing for a long time,” Berke said. The studio is a continuation of ideas Berke began investigating over ten years ago in a previous Yale studio about boutique industry along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. “We’re looking into the new interest in artisanal industries, everything that could be a spur for boutique manufacturing.” “We’re looking at Louisville as a case study, a model that can be applied to other cities,” said Noah Biklen, a critic at Yale assisting Berke with the studio. “We were trying to connect the studio with what’s going on in the U.S. now. We wanted to look at the idea of work and how to introduce manufacturing back into the city.” Students have been asked to design a modern bourbon distillery on a half-block site on Louisville’s Main Street across from a historic row of former bourbon warehouses nicknamed Whiskey Row that were partially saved from demolition last year. The program is flexible within a narrow window, Berke said. For instance, students may choose to incorporate a handful of 19th century buildings into the plan or work with a blank site. In the end, a 40,000 to 60,000 square foot facility including spaces for fermentation, stills, aging, storage, and loading and unloading will be designed for the site. Berke said small industries like a boutique distillery can be the key to reinvigorating a city’s manufacturing core and to providing hundreds of new jobs as one industry fuels other tangent industries around it. “It’s not small scale as in three people knitting tea cozies, but it is small scale compared to the auto industry,” she said. A bourbon distillery employing 75 people could encourage still makers, custom glass and bottle manufacturers, palette makers, and label printers in the surrounding city to create a jobs ripple effect that adds up fast. The studio recently visited Louisville to see the site first hand, study the bourbon making process, and, of course, try a little bourbon along the way. “We had a great time drinking bourbon,” Berke explained, quickly adding, “but we drank responsibly.” The class took bourbon seriously during the trip. They learned about the distilling process by visiting local distilleries such as Woodford Reserve, where students could see the variable scale of the industry. “You could have a still in your living room or you could be producing millions and millions of gallons of alcohol a year,” Berke said. They also sampled different kinds of bourbon, taking in flights at Louisville’s many bourbon bars. Berke previously designed the 21c Museum Hotel farther west on Main Street, converting another former bourbon warehouse into a luxury hotel and art museum. Later in the semester, the studio will make a trip to New York to study existing boutique industries in Brooklyn such as an urban gin distiller and other companies in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Manhattan’s Garment District. [Via WFPL.]