I recently discovered a blog post and postcard image by the North Carolina Room at our Bert King designed Pack Library downtown. So much fun to have discovered this! The building was originally designed by local architect Tony Lord who designed our newspaper building across from the Grove Arcade. I won’t steel the thunder away from the Library’s post, but allow you to go and read the details there yourself. Enjoy! Troy
Category Archives: Commercial
As one of the first buildings on UNCA’s new location built on former farm land, Phillips Hall is the University’s main administration building. Phillips Halls was completed in 1961 having been designed local architects SIX ASSOCIATES. In 1970 the building was officially named in honor of Robert F. Phillips, a member of the UNCA Board of Governors and the Asheville-Biltmore College Board of Trustees.
Phillips Hall, which features a breezeway connecting two wings, currently houses the administrative offices of the Chancellor and the vice chancellors for Academic Affairs, Administration, Finance and Human Resources.
A special thinks to Kevan from Asheville By Foot for my personal tour of UNCA and helping gather information on the campus. Cheers! Troy
We were revisiting the design of the new Asheville Middle School today. We think this is an exciting project for Asheville and love the progressive nature of the design and looking forward to a tour of the construction when it gets further along. This is the latest progress photo.
Here is a bit about the project from the architecture firm Clark Nexsen: Clark Nexsen is providing design services for a new facility for Asheville Middle School on the existing middle school site. During advanced planning, the program was developed through a series of meetings and workshops held by the design team with the Asheville City School and Asheville Middle School administrations, as well as the affiliated faculty, students, and community user groups. This collaboration served to verify their current and future needs. The program is designed for a 1,000-student capacity, anticipating future growth. Asheville City Schools does not have an off-site location for the middle school while a new building is under construction. The existing middle school and outdoor athletic facilities will remain operational and secure during construction.
Reviewing the design work for Asheville’s Middle School brought up memories for me when my own Clifty Creek Middle School in Columbus, Indiana was replaced by a new one designed by architect Richard Meier shown below.
While visiting the River Arts District, Kelly and I stopped to visit the site of the future Smokey Park Supper Club. Being the container enthusiasts we are — we thought the layout of the 19 shipping containers creates a layered theatrical experience that plays well to the river and lawn in-between. The venue, dreamed up by Matt Logan and Kristie Quinn of 5 Walnut, is due to open sometime this year. We may just start camping out now to be first in line. Cheers! Troy
Yesterday, I was invited to tour Biz611 in Hendersonville with Architect Ken Gaylord, a fellow AIA member. It is a newly opened office building in downtown Hendersonville that was designed to house selected, start up technical companies. The owner/developer of this small office building was very focused on green design and that it be evident throughout the building. Ken and his team were brought in to make his vision reality in this industrialized modern construction.
The facade was veneered with bricks retained from buildings torn down from the site. Also, it incorporates living walls with plants as shown above. The South wall incorporates a shade structure that simultaneously harnesses solar energy. The interior consisted of recycled walls from a bank in Charleston along with reclaimed glass, wood and even railings used to cover water retention areas externally. For an expanded photographic tour of this building click here.
In light of the announcement that the BB&T building will be repurposed and remodeled, I thought it would be appropriate to pull this article out of the archives. In the attached video, local architect Mark Allison gives context to the buildings architecture in relationship to both other cities and Asheville itself. Enjoy!
A Commentary on the BB&T Building in downtown Asheville.
The BB&T Building was completed in 1965 as the headquarters for North Western Bank. It is 18 stories, was built by George Goodyear and designed by D. Gene Whittington.
The BB&T building reflects the International style of Mies Van Der Rohe. Mies’s thirty years as an American architect reflect a more structural, pure approach towards achieving his goal of a new architecture for the 20th Century. He focused his efforts on the idea of enclosing open and adaptable spaces with clearly arranged structural frameworks, featuring pre-manufactured steel shapes infilled with large sheets of glass. His early projects at the IIT campus and for developer Herb Greenwald opened the eyes of Amercians to a style that seemed a natural progression of the almost forgotten 19th century Chicago School style. His architecture with origins in the German Bauhaus and western European International Style became an accepted mode of building for American cultural and educational institutions, developers, public agencies, and large corporations.
The BB&T building does not live up to some key design principles of Mies as Mark will point out in his video.
Thank you Mark.
Photo courtesy of the Pack Memorial Library
PCB&L Architects reconstruct ABC’s Brand Identity
I have been enjoying the three new ABC Stores popping up around Asheville in the last year. My jaded, winter outlook of late has been warmed by the progressive nature of the sunny, new design from a government agency. It is refreshing to see such thoughtful construction in the context of the commercial strips of Tunnel Road, Leicester Highway and elsewhere. The modern composition and rhythmic nature of the facade, including the new brightly colored graphic, is not only elegant, it honors the nature of how you experience it from the automobile. The entire facade serves as memorable and well branded sign for speedy travelers negotiating traffic and other commercial entities of our mountain version of the American commercial strip.
Curious to know how this came about I met with architect Richard Fort of PCB&L Architects in downtown Asheville. Richard was the lead architect on the three new buildings. The architecture company was hired to design both the building and to develop the branding and supporting graphics. Richard stated that the Asheville ABC Board was indeed progressive in their thinking. They realized that their old stores were as unwelcoming as a dirty adult bookstore and were a deterent to the everyday female shoppers they were now aggressively trying to market. As I know from real estate 80% of home buying decisions are made by women along with purchases for the home. In an attempt to expand their market and create a more welcoming environment for all consumers they wanted a more open, well lit and transparent shopping experience. Now isn’t that nice.
Another important point was that the retail building was designed and built on a very tight budget. The design firm fought to keep key materials such as the contrasting bricks in place and worked to balance the design budget in other ways. This goes to show you that economic commercial buildings don’t have to be done in synthetic stucco and plastic windows. With appropriate and professional design planning you can have a sophisticated building that stands out, surpasses your neighbors and is openly sexy. Thank you Asheville ABC board for your progressive strategy and PCB&L for your mindful stewardship of your clients vision and brand. We all benefit from your refreshing collaboration. Admittedly, I write this while sipping on a glass of Sky ginger vodka that I could not resist buying while photographing the interior. Not feeling naughty enough I am deviously hopeful my purchase bought a nice, deep grey brick for another ABC Store somewhere in the future.
Article and Photographs by Troy Winterrowd