RENDERING OF FRONT PORCH AND PUBLIC ENTRANCE, by pod a+d
pod architecture + design, an interdisciplinary design firm based in Chapel Hill represented by Blueplate PR, has been commissioned to design Liberty & Plenty Distillery, a new start-up craft distillery planned for downtown Durham that will produce rum, whiskey, gin, and flavored vodkas.
Solely owned by head distiller Tina Williford, MSc, of Raleigh, the project will involve the adaptive re-use of a former distillery in a one-story, brick, 3400-square-foot building at 609 Foster Street. Built in 1938, the structure was originally an RJ Reynolds tobacco packing house and warehouse. The back patio of the property’s Rickhouse event space (formerly an aging warehouse where packed tobacco barrels were stored) faces the old Durham Bulls stadium.
“I love the architectural concept of contrasting a fresh, contemporary space within the steel and wood patina of the prizery,” Williford says. The prizery was the place where the tobacco was “prized” or pressed into hogshead barrels for shipping. “Two traditional types of copper stills and other vacuum-based techniques will be used for distillation and blending based on the spirit created. This use of the space and the distilling processes complement and balance the old and the new.”
According to Doug Pierson, AIA, co-founder and principal architect at pod a+d, the architectural idea for Liberty & Plenty “focuses on the entry, the bar, and on the way visitors will experience the distillery.”
To that end, he and his partner, co-founder/designer Youn Choi, have custom-designed a multi-functional “furniture bar” to accommodate product tasting, retail displays, bottle sales, and casual seating for distillery events in one elegant furniture item.
RENDERING OF THE MULTI-FUNCTIONAL “FURNITURE BAR,” by pod a+d
The “furniture bar” will also create a visual and physical separation between guests and the production process. A physical separation is a state requirement for all operating distilleries.
“In other words, we’ll feed two birds with one seed,” Pierson said. “The furniture bar will satisfy the state mandate while accommodating a host of distillery needs.”
Like their client, the pod a+d team also believes the textural contrast between the clean lines and smooth wood of the furniture bar and the unrefined nature of the old brick building will be part of Liberty & Plenty’s appeal.
As for the name: The unique nomenclature for Williford’s future distillery is as North Carolina-centric as the location: It’s derived from the N.C. State seal. At the center of the seal are two robed figures, “Liberty” on the left and “Plenty” on the right.
This project marks the fourth spirits distillery that pod a+d has designed, including the 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole bourbon distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, which has received two design awards to date.
About pod architecture + design
At pod a+d, we believe in the integration of architecture and all aspects of design to connect buildings + environment + identity. That’s why pod a+d is a hybrid firm, offering all architectural services, environmental design, experiential graphics, and wayfinding design. Exterior and interior architecture; furnishings and finishes; financial feasibility and scheduling; engineering and construction; and experiential graphics – considered simultaneously, these disciplines inform our hybrid/integrated approach to architecture. For more information: www.podand.com.