Local News

Yale Students to Plan Urban Distillery in Louisville

A group of students from the Yale School of Architecture will visit Louisville this year to design an urban distillery downtown, though the project won’t necessarily result in the distillery being built.

The visit is part of Yale’s advanced design studios program. In addition to Kentucky, students in other studios will visit Venice, Denmark, Finland, Los Angeles and Switzerland. The latter trip will be led by Frank Gehry.

The Louisville team will be led by Deborah Berke, who was one of the lead designers of 21c. The students will visit various distilleries in the area, as well as in Columbus, Indiana, Cincinnati and New York. They will then design an urban distillery on the block across from Whiskey Row.

According to a statement announcing the project, the students will look for innovation through architecture in the spirits industry and offer “an opportunity to rethink urban manufacturing in the 21st Century.”

From the course outline:

We will study the logistics of material handling, the overlapping paths of goods, workers, visitors, waste, and traffic within the distillery and the city. We will confront the demands of energy consumption, water-use, hygiene, and the pungent odors for which distilleries are infamous. Students will be asked to consider the performative requirements for the architectural envelope in regards to scale, day-light, energy-use, interior climate, brand-identity, and transparency.

Local News

Cuban Tourism Could Boost Kentucky Businesses

The Obama Administration is expected to ease travel restrictions on Cuba soon. One observer says the move is welcome, but a bolder step would bolster Kentucky business there.

Larry Luxner publishes a monthly newsletter on Cuba (The Cuba News). He says Kentucky businesses began laying groundwork to sell agricultural products to Cuba, but the potential is largely unrealized. If travel restrictions were to be dropped completely, he says, the subsequent flood of tourists would increase the nation’s demand for locally-produced goods such as whiskey and produce.

“They really don’t have much money to spend on food imports and so they’ve been turning to other, cheaper sources of food exports, because the cost of doing business with the United States is too high,” he says. “If we had substantial numbers of Americans traveling to Cuba, I believe Cuba would have a new source of cash. There would be a demand for quality food products and that in turn, I think would spark food exports to Cuba.”

Luxner says another possible solution would be to allow Cuba to trade goods to the United States on credit. Luxner writes about Kentucky businesses and Cuba in the latest issue of the Lane Report.