Daily Memphian - Little Bettie, the long-awaited pizza eatery by restaurant veterans Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, opened last week in the new downtown Wiseacre Brewery. Jennifer Biggs of the Daily Memphian writes that “the space, first of all, is massive and impressive. A wall of windows stretches along the front, and inside, the ceiling in the tap room soars 40-plus feet. Port holes along one wall allow a clear view into the room where the magic happens, where the beer is brewed in big stainless vats.” LRK provided design services for Wiseacre Brewery.
On November 6th, LRK Philadelphia’s Eli Storch and Nando Micale participated with a multi-disciplinary team of 40 professionals and Master of City Planning students in a design charrette that was focused on a gentrifying riverfront neighborhood (Gray’s Ferry) just outside of Philadelphia’s Center City District. Nando and Eli both serve on the City’s Design Advocacy Group (DAG) Steering Committee (Eli is the chair and Nando is co-chair of the group’s Waterfronts Task Force), who is the financial sponsor of the charrette and the resulting DAG Plan for Advocacy. The charrette included four teams, who imagined how different economic forces could reshape this key riverfront neighborhood and how equity and resiliency could be embodied in a set of planning and design principles. In advancing DAG's mission for design advocacy in the city, the non-profit is working with the University's practice arm, PennPraxis, to run the charrette and develop the work into the Plan for Advocacy document. The DAG Plan for Advocacy will be published in Spring 2021 and will also be the subject of a DAG Forum. In addition to and in parallel with this effort, Nando, as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School of Design, is leading a team of graduate students in preparing the materials for the charrette and producing their own plan for equitable change in this neighborhood. The initial charrette ideas included: models of higher density housing and mixed-use that include affordability; development of riverfront parks that better connect the neighborhood to the Schuylkill River Trail; and ideas for institutional integration and models for job creation.
Daily Memphian - On November 17th, the Renasant Convention Center’s new exterior signage and lighting will officially by switched on, signaling the center’s upcoming completion. Silver cladding on the building’s western exposure will reflect sunsets over the Mississippi River and the display of clouds and light throughout the day. At night, new lighting will highlight the building’s architectural features and once the building is hosting events again, the building will be glowing from within. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Tourism chief Kevin Kane will join C. Mitchell Waycaster, chief executive officer of Tupelo-based Renasant Bank, in a lighting ceremony starting at 6 p.m.
LRK’s Nando Micale served as Co-Chair on a ULI Technical Assistance Panel in October. The panel addressed a suburban retail center as they look to transition to a mixed-use walkable center and integrate Exton’s 18th century history and character. The center includes a rapidly dying mall and a range of auto-oriented properties, including a recently developed Lifestyle Center, Main Street at Exton. ULI Technical Assistance Panels provide the market-based expertise of ULI members to cities, developers, and other organizations that need objective analysis and advice on how to solve difficult development problems.
Memphis Heritage will premiere a free viewing of writer/filmmaker Willy Bearden’s documentary tour of the old U.S. Marine Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 29th. The viewing, on Zoom and Facebook Live, will be at 7 p.m. and followed by a live Q&A with panelists. The film will start with the historic background of the site, including the hospital, Chickasaw Heritage Park, and the French Fort neighborhood. The bulk of the film will be a “virtual tour,” overlayed with audio and video clips describing the restoration process and interspersed with historic and pre-restoration photos. LRK is providing architecture and interior design services.
On Wednesday, October 7th, LRK’s Lauren Tolbert will moderate a virtual panel on adaptive reuse architecture called “Breathing Life Into Voids Through Artistic Expression and Community Outreach.” Part of the first annual Memphis Art & Design (MAD) Week, the focus of the eight-day event is to work with community leaders and artists to remove barriers and ensure equitable access to the exploration of art and design. Enjoy this trailer video that was collaboratively developed for the panel. Special thanks to New Ballet Ensemble & School, Memphis Jookin, and IMAKEMADBEATS.
LRK Associate Sophorn Kuoy Olsen and Architectural Designer Lauren Tolbert have been featured in Beyond the Built Environment’s SAY IT LOUD exhibition. The exhibition features projects by diverse design professionals and interviews on their experiences in the architecture and design professions. Sophorn’s featured project is the Orion Federal Credit Union Headquarters and Lauren’s featured project is Crosstown Concourse, both in Memphis, Tenn.
See Sophorn's exhibition work here, and Lauren's work here.