marilys r. nepomechie architect, coconut grove, fla.

Marilys R. Nepomechie’s proposal for revitalizing Smoketown, a historic African-American neighborhood in Louisville, Ky., won wide praise from our judges, with one applauding the “considerable research into creating a sustainable housing strategy in the community.”

The design for Smoketown, which dates back to the Civil War, calls for a sustainable land plan that focuses on the remediation of urban structures, restoring land-use patterns, and expanding community spaces for the public. In addition to the bold scheme for rain gardens, rooftop urban farming, and pervious paving, the architect proposes contextual architecture that references the area’s brickmaking heritage. “The house type is long skinny shotgun with a variety of configurations for 1- and 2-story units and various sizes,” Nepomechie, FAIA, says. Studios and other multifamily structures will be included.

Buildings will be sustainable, with Energy Star appliances, denim insulation, and high-efficiency HVAC systems. They will be oriented “to permit natural ventilation and to minimize heat gain,” the architect explains

Project Credits
principal in charge / project architect / land planner: Marilys R. Nepomechie, FAIA, Marilys R. Nepomechie Architect
landscape architect / interior designer: Marta Canavés, ASLA, IIDA, Marta Canaves Design, Miami
project team: Marina Giammattei; Carlo Giammattei; Julio Pulido, AIA, and Salvador Mitrani, RA, Novus Archetype, Miami
research and study team: David Mohney, AIA, David Biagi, AIA, Steven Ward, RA, and Luis Panini, University of Kentucky College of Design, Lexington, Ky.
Dustin Anderson, Tina Arthur, Jennifer Atcher, Sara Cahill, Eryn Chamblin, Sean Ellis, Chris Gipson, Bryan Harmeling, Robert Litherland, Amanda Potter, Katie Schnur, Jillian Tillery, Jaclyn Whitaker, and Jason Zavala, architecture students, UK College of Design Vertical Options Studio
project size: 450 square feet to 1,450 square feet per unit
site size: 2.3 acres; construction cost: $100 per square foot
rental price: $400 to $1,500 per unit per month
sales price: $120,000 to $170,000 per unit
units in project: 82 (residential)
renderings: Novus Archetype and Marta Canavés