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Community | City: Between Building and Landscape: Affordable, Sustainable Infill for Smoketown

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Project Name

Community | City: Between Building and Landscape: Affordable, Sustainable Infill for Smoketown

Project Status

Concept Proposal


  • Landscape Architect: Marta Canavés
  • Interior Designer: Marta Canavés
  • Marilys R. Nepomechie
  • David Mohney, David Biagi, Steven Ward, Luis Panini, 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
  • Marina Giammattei, Carlo Giammattei, Julio Pulido, and Salvador Mitrani

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Project Description

2010 RADA
On The Boards / Merit

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
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