Architect, Developer Reveal Plans for Boutique Community Hotel in Louisville to Serve Residents and Travels Alike

Rendering of the future Devonian, designed by pod architecture + design

Blueplate PR client pod architecture + design (pod a+d), an award-winning design firm in Chapel Hill, NC, together with visionary real estate developer Gill Holland of Louisville, Kentucky, recently revealed plans for “The Devonian,” a 17,000-square-foot, post-pandemic, community hotel at 1614-24 Lytle Street in Louisville’s historic Portland neighborhood designed to serve local residents as well as travelers.

Unlike standard hotels and motels whose amenities are strictly for paying guests, Holland’s hospitality venture aims to include the Portland and greater Louisville area with indoor/outdoor spaces for community and special events. Along with the 25 small guest rooms, the Devonian will offer a heated courtyard swimming pool, a rooftop deck where Portland-based non-profits can host fundraisers, and easy access to the Louisville Visual Arts gallery next door, the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute, and live music and more at “fifteenTWELVE,” a creative compound on Portland Avenue.  Also, The Devonian will be a block from the heralded Table Café, one block from the Waterfront Phase IV (being built now), and less than two miles from Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center. 

“It’s crazy that there is not one hotel west of Ninth Street in Louisville, an area that, on its own, would be the fourth largest city in the state of Kentucky,” Holland said. “We typically do not announce any projects or partnerships until we have found the financing, but we need to find partners both to get this built and to operate it. So, we wanted to get the word out now that the permitting has been approved.”

Rendering, The Devonian, looking east.

Like most motels and motor lodges along the nation’s highways, The Devonian’s rooms will have open-air access rather than interior hallways, and an open, accessible lobby. Rooms overlooking the pool will face inward to provide privacy for guests and adjacent neighbors.

Established in 1811, Portland is an urban neighborhood northwest of downtown Louisville, located on the Falls of the Ohio River. Fossils discovered at the Falls date back 400 million years to the geological Devonian Period, an interval of the Paleozoic Era. Holland named his new-concept hotel “The Devonian” to honor that source of neighborhood pride.

Following Holland’s lead, pod a+d partners Douglas Pierson, AIA, and designer Youn Choi used abstractions of the fossil forms found in the area to establish tectonic geometries in the building itself: The exposed structure will feature geometric shapes and patterns visible in the corals discovered in the Ohio River’s limestone bed. 

The exposed structure will feature geometric shapes and patterns visible in the corals discovered in the Ohio River’s limestone bed. 

The Devonian’s specific context is also reflected in the architecture. Located at the threshold between Portland’s iconic warehouse/commercial district to the east and residential neighborhoods to the west, the building’s rugged modernist form, devoid of ornamentation, suggests the raw feel of an industrial warehouse while the glass-enclosed lobby and open roof deck recall porches and breezeways among Portland’s historic homes.

“The Devonian is a neighborhood compass that navigates regional pulls,” said Choi. “To the east, it focuses its view on the historic commercial streets and buildings. To the West, it is a landmark that acknowledges the transition from commercial to residential. To the North, it recognizes its pre-historic era. And to the South, it is an axis to placemaking spaces that are emerging in West Louisville neighborhoods.” 

Doug Pierson and Gill Holland have worked together on other projects over the years, most notably The Green Building, a nationally acclaimed, thoroughly sustainable mixed-use commercial project in downtown Louisville that brought community pride back to a forgotten section of that city. The designers and developer hope The Devonian will do the same for the Portland community.       

When financing is secured, Holland says construction should begin next spring.

For more information on pod architecture + design, visit www.podand.com.

Carrboro Hillside House Wins a Jury Award in 2022 Matsumoto Prize Competition

Hillside House, designed by pod architecture + design, in neighborhood context.

(CARRBORO, NC) – “Hillside House,” the modern, metal-clad home designed by architect Doug Pierson, AIA, and designer Youn Choi of pod architecture + design for their own family of four, received a prestigious Jury Award during the 2022 George Matsumoto Prize competition recognizing excellence in modernist residential design.

 Leland Little Auctions in Hillsborough hosted this year’s awards ceremony on Thursday, July 28.

NC Modernist, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization and website based and maintained in Durham, created the Matsumoto Prize in 2012 to honor modernist architect George Matsumoto, FAIA, one of the founding faculty members of North Carolina State University’s College of Design. The Matsumoto Prize is North Carolina’s highest honor exclusively for modernist residential architecture throughout the state.

Located on a wooded lot in an established neighborhood near downtown Carrboro, Hillside House is a long, slender, three-level home that directly responds to the natural terrain in form and plan. Its black metal exterior and a cantilevered corner as it zigzags up a steep hill decrease its impact on the landscape and natural hydrology.

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Doug Pierson, Youn Choi

According to NC Modernist’s founder and director George Smart, the jurors appreciated the symbiosis between the architecture and the land. Yet they were most impressed by Pierson’s and Choi’s design decisions that, as parents, they knew would enhance daily life for their young-adult child with autism. As they explained in their awards submission:

 “An ideal floor plan developed within the long, narrow form…[that] offers visible connectivity across the length and height of the house to facilitate communication. It also provides retreat spaces for privacy.”

 Info, Video, Images & Plans

·       Click here to view the video pod a+d created for the competition, narrated by Doug Pierson.

·       Click here for more information on pod architecture + design, and here for information, photos, drawings, and plans for Hillside House.

·       Click here to view all the modernist houses submitted for the Matsumoto Prize this year.

Vote for the CARRBORO HILLSIDE HOUSE in this year’s Matsumoto Prize awards!

Go to ncmhcompetitions.org, scroll down a bit, and VOTE for this unique, modern, sustainable, custom-designed home in Carrboro, NC, where the land dictated the form and the family’s specific needs informed the plan. Thanks so much!

Blueplate PR Client’s Project Featured in Metal Architecture magazine.

pod architecture + design’s “Hillside House” gets national press.

Abundant glazing provides views of the wooded site from every room. (Photo by Allen Weiss)

by Christopher Brinkerhoff, Associate Editor

Zig zagging down a hillside in Carrboro, N.C., a black-clad house blends into a wooded site. The home is the vision of partners and design duo Douglas Pierson and Youn Choi, pod architecture + design PLLC, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The house comprises three forms that are connected. At their simplest, they are rectangles that connect to form a Z pattern, descending the slope of the hill toward a creek.

Corrugated metal panels give texture to the lengthy façades that are punctured by horizontal windows, which emphasize their length. To keep the lines clean, the architects specified limited trim.

Two Appearances

The home blends in with other houses in the neighborhood in terms of size and scale, but because of the slope, the two lower forms disappear from the street view. The buildable area on the hillside site was limited to a triangular, northeast corner of the site. Instead of facing the streetside to the east, the house faces the creek bed to the southwest. READ MORE

Eater Carolinas magazine names new-concept wine shop designed by pod architecture + design as one of “14 Most Anticipated…”

Exterior rendering of Rocks & Acid wine shop & tasting bar, coming to 712 Market Street in Chapel Hill, designed by pod architecture + design. Counter service via a large window by the patio (pictured here) will lend a casual, informal air to the new-concept shop.

Rocks & Acid, a new retail wine shop and tasting room coming this year to Chapel Hill’s Southern Village neighborhood, is one of “The 14 Most Anticipated Restaurants Across the Carolinas for 2022,” according to Eater Carolinas digital magazine.

While the name doesn’t say it, food will play a key role in owner Paula de Pano’s desire to have her customers relax and linger at Rocks & Acid. To that end, pod architecture + design included a large pass-through window at the shop’s exterior patio in their design. A “curated selection of artisan cheeses, charcuterie, conservas, caviar and cakes” will be available at the window and interior wine bar, according to JNK Public Relations.

CLICK HERE to go to Eater Carolinas to see the complete list.

CLICK HERE for more information on pod a+d‘s design for Rocks & Acid.

 

Inhabitat.com: “Carrboro Hillside House looks like a giant black snake”

Designed by Blueplate PR client pod architecture + design

The driveway concludes at the main entrance underneath Hillside House.

by KC Morgan for Inhabitat.com

The location is tucked into a protected forested area covered in trees with a creek nearby. It’s an odd-shaped lot with a hillside and boulders, surrounded by nature. It was a huge challenge for architect Doug Pierson and designer Youn Choi, but the end result is absolutely stunning. READ MORE

Global Design Platform Features Project by Blueplate PR Client pod architecture + design

Archello.com selects Rabbit Hole Distillery

Natural wood strikes a warm note around Rabbit Hole’s public courtyard. Blackened wood louvers around the manufacturing atrium are a nod to the charred wood barrels that give bourbon a smooth, mellow flavor.

For this unique facility — a modern structure in an industry steeped in tradition — the design team embraced the strategy “form follows process,” allowing the building to take shape in response to the bourbon production process it would house. The result: a distinctive, responsive building that shares its design and purpose equally with the building’s capacious copper and steel equipment.

Taking a cue from Louis Kahn’s Salt Institute, the overall form is divided into “service” (warehouse) and “served” (atrium and event space) volumes.  A public passageway navigates between the two without intruding on either before it ascends, on a meandering path, through the 60-foot-tall Manufacturing Atrium enclosed by glass and blackened wood louvres.  The path continuesover the fermentation tanks, around the 48-foot-tall copper still, and on to “Overlook,” the 150-seat event space.

Throughout the interior journey, the gleaming still is always in view, underscoring the notion of the building as an homage to the craft of bourbon making. READ MORE and VIEW PHOTO GALLERY.

Inside the transparent manufacturing atrium. The 48-foot-tall copper still rises in the background.

Save the Date: “Hillside House” will be open for public touring Saturday, November 13

The rear view shows “Hillside House” climbing up the natural hill on site.

On Saturday, November 13, NCModernist.org will present a public “Trickle Tour” of Hillside House at 130 Old Pittsboro Road, Carrboro. Specific time slots and ticket information will be announced later.

NCModernist (aka NC Modernist Houses) hosts several tours of modern house each year. Executive director George Smart created the “Trickle Tour” format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The format allows the public to visit new or newly remodeled modernist houses at a “trickle” of the normal rate for the nonprofit organization’s home tours. Timed admission assures that very few people are inside a house during each time slot.

Doug Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, founding partners and principal designers at pod architecture + design in Chapel Hill, created Hillside House for their own family of four on a wooded lot within walking distance of downtown Carrboro.

In April 2020, the house caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal. A few months later, Chapel Hill Magazine featured it in an article entitled “Labor of Love.” It has also been published in Builder Magazine, Architizer, and in Dwell and Architect magazines’ galleries of residential projects.

This will be the first public tour of the angular house on Old Pittsboro Road that’s wrapped in corrugated black metal and appears to be twisting and turning its way up a steep hillside.

To see more exterior and interior photos, go to the “Hillside House”  page on Pierson’s and Choi’s website: podand.com/work#/carrboro-house.

Pictured Above: Doug and Sora on the first “living” level. Above them: Oscar at the cantilevered desk in the middle “work” level. Above right: Youn on the bedroom, or “sleep” level. (Photo by Cornel Watson for Chapel Hill Magazine.

WORLD-ARCHITECTS: “US Building of the Week – Rabbit Hole Distillery”

Project by Blueplate PR client pod architecture + design honored as world-architects.com’s US Building of the Week

Made up of new construction and the adaptive reuse of an old warehouse and church building, the Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky’s East Market District (aka Nulu) is truly a campus, with retail, dining, office and event spaces, in addition to those for manufacturing bourbon, rye, and other spirits. The architects at North Carolina’s pod architecture + design answered a few questions about the project. READ MORE

CHAPEL HILL MAGAZINE: “Labor of Love”

https://issuu.com/shannonmedia/docs/chmjf21_issuu/62

Click on the link above to see the full feature in the January/February edition of Chapel Hill Magazine on the unique modern, sustainable, custom-designed house designed by Blueplate PR clients by Doug Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, partners and founders of pod architecture + design in Chapel Hill, NC. This “labor of love” is for their own family of four.