LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2012) — Louisville takes bourbon seriously, and world-renowned architect Deborah Berke is acknowledging this authenticity by challenging the Yale School of Architecture and a class of advanced design students to overhaul one of Kentucky’s oldest and proudest trades; the bourbon distillery. The goal is to design a contemporary urban bourbon distillery in downtown Louisville, and the project will be sure to generate a lot of interest for the city and from bourbon enthusiasts.
A total of eight architectural advanced design studios are offered at Yale this semester. Architect Frank Gehry is leading a studio that will design an opera house and will travel to Switzerland, and noted Italian architect Massimo Scolari will be taking his students to Venice. Other studios are traveling to Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Vienna and Los Angeles.
The elite group of students traveling to Kentucky is diverse in background and hail from California, Michigan, New Jersey, Boston, Italy, and Hong Kong. Their esteemed reputation will provide both national and international recognition for the city of Louisville and surrounding areas.
“I am excited to return to Louisville to carry out this unique project. It is a wonderful opportunity to put the spotlight on a great city as well as promote the significance of architectural design,” says Burke.
The project will focus on industrial architecture as a form of innovation for the spirits industry and offers an opportunity to rethink urban manufacturing in the 21st century.
During the trip to Kentucky, the Yale students will study the Whiskey Row site and visit a number of local distilleries and businesses, including Woodford Reserve, Vendome Copper & Brass, Brown Forman Cooperage, and the Four Roses Distillery. The project will be centered from the downtown 21C Museum Hotel.
“We are absolutely thrilled to host this talented group of students here in Louisville. The project will be a great way to learn about our city as well as look at future growth. We can’t wait to showcase what makes Louisville authentic,” says Steve Wilson, founder and co-owner of 21C hotels.
Berke and her firm have firm connections with 21C, as they were the lead interior design team during development. The 21C was named “Best Hotel” in Interior Design Magazine’s 2006 ‘Best of Year Awards.’ Berke’s firm is also involved in bringing a second 21C hotel to Cincinnati.
Pictured: 21C in Louisville
Following stops throughout Louisville and Central Kentucky, the Yale students will also travel to Columbus, Indiana and Cincinnati. While in Cincinnati, they will tour the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.
Berke is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and received her masters from the City University of New York. She has been a professor of architectural design at Yale University since 1987 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Berke earned international recognition over the years through her large-scale work including commercial, hospitality, residential, retail, and arts-related buildings. Among other professional contributions, she was Chair of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University and is currently a trustee of the National Building Museum.
Noah Biklen, a DBPA associate, will also bring his experience to the project. Biklen served as a project designer for the UNC School of the Arts Film Production Facility in Winston-Salem, N.C. Other notable projects include project designer for the Rockefeller Arts Center Addition, the widely published 48 Bond Street Project, and the prize-winning New Housing New York competition. His wide range of prestigious work provides a great background for leading this project and making it a success for both Yale and Louisville.
The firm, Deborah Berke & Partners Architects LLP has won several prestigious design awards for both architecture and interior design. It has been featured in various publications such as Architectural Record, Newsweek, Elle Décor, the Wall Street Journal, and Vogue.