WBA was honored to take home two awards from the AIA Alabama Design Awards Ceremony.
Homewood Board of Education
- Merit Award
The new home for the Homewood Board of Education Central Office is the first phase of a 24-acre development plan for the Homewood School System. The New Central Office provides for the programmatic needs of the Homewood City Schools administrative staff which includes offices, conference rooms, and meeting rooms for professional development and public events.
The building is conceived as a “garden pavilion” integrated with the site, intended to mediate between public and private, man-made and natural. Sited to create synergy between the Central Office, Middle School, Community Garden and the adjacent residential neighborhood, the building is nestled behind a line of pine trees with a cantilevered porch roof extending just beyond the pines. With pavilion as precedent, the roof is accentuated in the form of a kite inspired by the social history of the site; fondly known as “Kite Hill”. The north façade - the public face of the building,is a solid “garden wall” with punched openings at offices. The private south façade provides a sense of immersion in the landscape, dematerializing from stone to glass to provide views of an existing stand of pine trees.
Cahaba Brewing Company
- Merit Award
Located on 5th Avenue South in the historic 1925 Continental Gin Building complex, Cahaba Brewery & Taproom occupies 21,000 SF of their renovated 50,000 SF space.
A controlled material palette and priority on craft was leveraged in the creation of a memorable atmosphere unique among Alabama’s breweries. Custom tables and chairs made from reclaimed wood provide customers with various seating options and breaks up the expansive space. The overhead doors are often opened in the evenings allowing patrons to overflow onto the patio. Use of natural light from the monitor windows gives the reclaimed pine walls a radiance in the afternoons, highlights the existing steel structure all while providing the brewers and customers with adequate light.
The brew house was custom made in Wisconsin and is the only American-made brew house being used in Alabama. The brew house is treated as an art piece framed by steel and reclaimed wood. Butt jointed glass allows customers an uninterrupted view into the production of their beer and a literal window into the building’s industrial past.