pod architecture + design to convert old industrial building in downtown Durham into new Liberty & Plenty Distillery


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.


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.

For more information on pod architecture + design, visit www.podand.com and follow the firm on Facebook.

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.


RHA Howell To Participate In “Women Be Healthy” Study with UNC

April 30, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) — Sam Hedrick, president of RHA Howell, Inc., is pleased to announce that the women in RHA’s Charlotte group homes and Lumberton Family Alternatives services, and those served by the organization’s day programs in those cities, will participate in the groundbreaking “Women Be Healthy” program with the North Carolina Office on Disability & Health (NCODH) and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

RHA is a statewide, not-for-profit organization that was been helping people with disabilities and their families for 35 years. “Women Be Healthy” (WBH) is a curriculum developed to enable women with developmental disabilities to become more active participants in their own health care, with the primary emphasis on breast and cervical cancer screenings.

NCODH, a program within UNC’s FPG Child Development Institute, and the UNC School of Social Work have received funding to conduct an evaluation of WBH curriculum. NCODH provides free training workshops on the use of the curriculum and all training materials. A study team at UNC-CH evaluates all activities around the curriculum, including tracking the receipt of health care services.

“Although we have strong preliminary data on positive student outcomes as a result of participation in Women Be Healthy classes, it is important that we conduct a longer term study on the impact of the WBH curriculum on the students’ health behaviors, especially the receipt of recommended preventive screenings,” said Karen Luken, project director, FPG Child Development Institute.

According to Luken, the study will evaluate the impact of the WBH intervention on four outcomes: (1) the sense of confidence and mastery of women related to their reproductive health care; (2) the knowledge of women regarding their health care; (3) actual receipt of health care services, including Pap tests and breast exams; and (4) anxiety of women related to their health care.

RHA Howell professionals who will be in charge of helping with the study are Alena Smith, Corporate Director of Nursing; Lee Ann Hoffner in Charlotte; Alice Smith and Tammy McFayden in Lumberton; and Eric Gabriel, RHA’s director of clinical policy, who will provide corporate oversight.

“We’re very excited to be participating in this program and recognize the great potential benefit it could have for the women we support,” Hedrick said, noting that women with physical and intellectual disabilities are very challenged to receive proper care in reproductive health services for a host of reasons, including the inability to access mammography equipment and anxiety issues.

For more information on the NCODH and Women Be Healthy program, go to www.fpg.unc.edu/~ncodh/WomensHealth/index.cfm.

For more information on RHA Howell, Inc., visit www.rhahowell.org.

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to www.rhahowell.org.