Berkeley Professorship for Debora Berke.
Text: Detail Daily
Debora Berke is a New York City based architect who has just been awarded the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and prize. It is the first time the prize has been awarded.
By way of celebration I thought to dig deep into her practice archive for an insight into the her work. For this introduction I have choose the Museum Hotel, in Louisville, USA. It is a complete renovation of four contiguous historic buildings to create a ninety room hotel with gallery, destination restaurant and topped off with the usual collection of public spaces and facilities one would expect from a quality hotel.
The project began with a couple of art collectors that wanted to display their sizeable collection of art and thought a hotel in the downtown part of Louiseville would revitalize that quarter of the city.
The buildings have original structural features such as timber and cast iron columns and load bearing brick walls, so the task was to preserve these as historical references
whilst inserting the contemporary additions to create the new facilities of the hotel.
A new five storey atrium was a major addition that provided a grand space at the heart of the project. It also provides light to the inner facing rooms. The guestrooms themselves, if not particularly innovative, appear very comfortable. The practice has become known for its approach to environmental sustainability. In this project, much consideration went into a careful selection of environmentally sensitive materials.
In all it is a very convincing project that was named 'Best Hotel' in Interior Design Magazine's 2006 'Best of Year Awards.'