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A 2007 fire gutted a 1915 warehouse buried mid-block in the center of Durham’s downtown “loop” (the CBD).  The charred brick ruin lay derelict, challenged by limited access via only alleyways, no street frontage, and zero-lot-lines.  Finally a business that counsels and incubates fledgling start-ups embraced the location, requesting a complex program of public and private spaces.  The building’s confines—just 1,300 square-feet—dictated a knotted arrangement of dual-purpose spaces.  The egress courtyard is an urban garden.  The lobby is a covered outdoor bar.  The kitchenette serves as entrance, and its rooftop provides an elevated deck and hallway with an alley view.

 

Awards: 2017 Golden Leaf Award, Small Development category, Durham City-County Appearance Commission

 

Photo credit: Sterling Stevens.