A new exhibit at 21C Museum Hotel features the work of ten graduate students from the Yale School of Architecture. The students were challenged to design a distillery for a proposed site on Main Street. Their projects take into consideration concerns over Louisville’s agricultural and manufacturing climate as well as the mechanics of the distillery process.
Scale models line the north and south walls of the gallery. A garage door that takes up the east wall was open to the street on the evening of the exhibit’s reception. Posters with schematics, artistic renderings and infographics hang behind each structure.
The projects are not intended for development, but serve as inspiring proposals for the kinds of manufacturing facilities that could provide viable job alternatives to the city. Production facilities offer economic diversity in Louisville’s predominantly service driven market. The end results are both innovative and striking.
Seema Kairam’s River Bend Bourbon facilitates a three-tiered system of production in which craft distillers and amateur enthusiasts are accommodated alongside an industrial process. Shared expenses and equipment remove hurdles for fledgling entrepreneurs while cultivating an atmosphere of engagement between the industry leaders and the public.
Alley Industries by Diana Nee is designed to span the alley between Main and Market. The building’s design allows for the continued use of the alley for “service functions” and also includes the use of waste materials from the distillation process for energy production.
Margaret Hu designed her facility as a branding device where the “direct circulation for the flow of materials contrasts against a highly choreographed path for the flow of visitors.” A massive wheel in one corner of the structure delivers bourbon barrels between floors.
The exhibit runs through September 24 in Gallery 4.