Nominated by: Smith Gee Studio
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Developer: Bristol Development Group
Architect: Smith Gee Studio
General Contractor: Doster Construction
Interior Designer: Moore Design Group
Photographer: Mathew Carbon Photography
Project Website: Main & Clay
Main & Clay deftly weaves the urban post-industrial transitional fabric of the eclectic Butchertown Historic District with the modern urban fabric of Louisville’s downtown. Historically, development on the site had been sporadic, with low-rise industrial replacing late 1800s structures with only one such building remaining intact. Tasked with protecting the unique location and historic nature of the area, the project makes significant reuse of existing façades, which are incorporated into the new building, blending the old and new seamlessly and connecting architecture over the generations. Emulating its surroundings, Main & Clay combines a compatible brick infill at the first- and second-floor level with a contemporary, industrial feel for the recessed upper stories. The design of the building itself draws from the weaving concept, mixing historic materials such as brick and stone with an interlocking mass of industrial metal finishes. On the street, residential flats, townhomes, garden patios and local businesses intermix. Dramatic monochromatic frames break up the massing of the residential structure, and the varying planer elements reflect the assorted uses and cultural diversity of the surrounding neighborhoods. The podium portion of the project spans from the first to the third floor, with a second-level floor system designed to be removed to create high-bay retail/restaurant spaces in anticipation of future development opportunities. Spanning three-quarters of the city block with more than 400,000 square feet of residential and commercial development, Main & Clay represents a significant investment in downtown Louisville’s urban core.