ARCHINECT: “Rabbit Hole Distillery”

Rabbit Hole Distillery by pod a+d
“Overlook,” the public events space, is cantilevered above a repurposed tire warehouse.

Form Follows Process: The process of making world-class bourbon informed every aspect of the design of the new, urban, 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville, KY.

That, and owner Kaveh Zamanian’s desire to make his dramatic distillery transparent to the city and a destination for locals and tourists via public tours, tastings, and cocktail hours in “Overlook,” the third-floor event space that provides panoramic views of Louisville’s trendy NuLu neighborhood.

The Louisville Courier-Journal called Rabbit Hole “a modern monument to the bourbon industry.” Chilled Magazine dubbed it “an innovative distillery on Louisville’s urban bourbon trail.” READ MORE


Leading Design Firms Team Up to Propose Elegant Concept for J.W. Rutledge Distillery

pod architecture + design, Luckett & Farley present scheme to investors at special event

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During a special event held recently in downtown Louisville, KY, pod architecture + design (pod a+d) of Carrboro, NC, and Luckett & Farley architects and engineers of Louisville, presented a surprising concept for a modern, environmentally sustainable, mid-sized distillery to an assemblage of investors.

Designed for the event’s host, J.W. Rutledge Distillery of Middletown, KY, the 69,000-square-foot facility is intended for 140 picturesque acres of gently rolling grassland just outside Louisville. The architectural concept suggests an elegant, two-building composition linked by physical representations of various elements of the distilling process. In form and footprint, the concept engages the landscape and gently steps downward toward Floyd’s Fork, allowing the process of bourbon-making to flow naturally via gravity, from grain delivery all the way to barreling.

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The distillery would also be oriented to convert the naturally occurring stillage (the byproduct of bourbon making) into energy via a biomass digester and to capture heating and cooling through a geothermal pond loop.

This innovative solution was designed by Douglas Pierson, AIA, and Youn Choi, pod a+d’s co-founders and Luckett & Farley’s President/CEO Aric Andrew and Vice President/Distilling Marketer Kyle Beasley. pod a+d and Luckett & Farley also worked together recently as architect and engineers, respectively, on the award-winning Rabbit Hole Distillery in downtown Louisville.

With a projected budget of $20-$25 million, Rutledge’s sustainable distillery will produce “World Class Bourbon and Rye whiskeys,” says Jim Rutledge, owner and multi-award-winning Master Distiller, on his website. “We will produce Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey the ‘old-fashioned way’ relative to the requisites, guidelines, and standards for Straight Whiskey production that have been in place for close to two centuries.”

“This one of a kind campus will engage a breathtaking site in a manner that honors an old-fashioned tradition done well while looking toward the future to thrive,” Pierson added.

The Investor Tasting Event took place in the Mint on Mellwood, a renovated industrial building in downtown Louisville. Investors enjoyed specialty bourbon and light refreshments while they discussed the proposed distillery with the J.W. Rutledge executive management team.

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Carrboro Architect Douglas Pierson Joins AIA Triangle Board of Directors

Doug P. 2019Douglas Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, co-founder/principal designer of pod architecture + design (pod a+d), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Triangle section, American Institute of Architects (AIAT) for a two-year term.

The AIA Triangle’s mission is “to serve its members and the Triangle community by enhancing and promoting the profession of architecture.” The AIA Triangle Board of Directors governs the overall execution of the organization’s mission.

 Within the last two years, Pierson and his wife, co-founder/principal designer Youn Choi, relocated their firm and family from Los Angeles, CA, to Carrboro, establishing their studio in the historic train depot building on Main Street.

As a relative newcomer to the area, Pierson has been immersing himself in the Triangle region’s architectural community, first by becoming a Professor in Practice at the NC State School of Architecture, then by joining the Triangle Architecture & Design Society (TADS). He and Choi have also hosted a “Thirst4Architecture” networking event sponsored by North Carolina Modernist Houses and opened their studio to the public as part of AIA Triangle’s recent “Firm Crawl.”

“Joining the AIA Triangle Board is an honor and a great opportunity to serve the profession in and around our new hometown,” said Pierson. He hopes to use his experience with nonprofit organizations, community service, fundraising, advocacy, and education to support the work of the Board.

For Doug Pierson’s full biography and more information about pod a+d, visit and follow the firm on Facebook.

METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS: “Dynamic Distillery — The Rabbit Hole Distillery takes the Grand Award”

In the 2018 Metal Construction News Building & Roofing Awards

By Mark Robins, Senior Editor

RH Ariel View.jpgForm follows process. This is contemporary bourbon maker, founder and CEO of Rabbit Hole Distilling, Kaveh Zamanian’s vision for life and for his Rabbit Hole Distillery manufacturing building in downtown Louisville, Ky. This very modern, innovative 55,000-square-foot bourbon distillery, completed in July 2018, exemplifies this vision. The judges for the 2018 Metal Construction News Building and Roofing Awards were very impressed with both the distillery’s form and process, with two of them even saying that if they saw it from a distance while out driving, they would want to drive toward it to learn and see more about it.

Rabbit Hole Distillery by pod architecture = desgin

“The Rabbit Hole Distillery project is a new contemporary building for a new bourbon manufacturing product in an otherwise traditional industry,” says Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED APBD+C, co-founder/partner, architect and design principal at pod architecture + design, Carrboro, N.C.  READ MORE

pod a+d partners present lecture at University of Kentucky College of Design

Lectures + Workshops - College of Design – 38°84° the power of place 2018-11-06 18-24-16
Pictured: Rabbit Hole Distillery

Lexington, KY — The University of Kentucky’s College of Design website notes: “The College of Design has a revered history for enticing major talent to share their knowledge firsthand through its annual lecture series and workshop offerings. ”

On November 7 at 5 p.m., Doug Pierson and Youn Choi, founding partners and design principals of pod architecture + design in Carrboro, NC, will present a lecture at the UK COD, Lexington, KY, entitled “Establishing a Way of Working.” The website describes the lecture as follows:

Learn how to compare shared influencing factors on varying projects with Doug Pierson, founder of POD A+D, and co-founder Youn Choi. Pierson founded pod architecture + design in 2016 with his partner in work and life, Youn Choi. Together, they lead a hybrid, integrated design studio that provides services in architecture, interiors, environmental and experiential graphics, urban design, and master planning – all within the same studio. They recently relocated their multi-faceted firm from Los Angeles to Carrboro, N.C.


DESIGN & BUILD with METAL: “Rabbit Hole Distillery”

Rabbit Hole Distillery by pod architecture = desgin

Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation, a premier nationwide provider of metal roof and wall systems headquartered in Louisville, KY, was proud to play a key role in the design of the $15 million, 55,000 square foot Rabbit Hole Distillery.

The extensive use of metal wall panels lent itself to the modern design both outside and inside. Located in the trendsetting NuLu neighborhood of Louisville, this new open floor plan distillery lets guests see all aspects of the bourbon making process. The bourbon experience is highlighted by the 48 foot tall still and a wide outdoor staircase clad with Metal Sales perforated aluminum panels ushering guests to the Overlook Tasting and Hospitality space above the atrium.

Metal Sales’ role in the project started early as the company worked closely with architect Douglas V. Pierson of pod architecture + design PLLC and Luckett & Farley architecture throughout the design phase. Prodigy Construction Corporation was selected as the panel installer.

“We developed the skin of the building hand-in-hand with Metal Sales. When we started talking this was still just a concept,” said Pierson. READ MORE

CHILLED MAGAZINE: “Rabbit Hole Distillery Now Open To Public”

pod architecture + design
Rabbit Hole Distillery, the most innovative distillery on Louisville’s urban bourbon trail, has officially opened its doors to the public, launching its comprehensive tour program and marking a new wave in American bourbon making and beverage tourism.

Offering a progressive tour program matching their boundary-pushing spirits philosophy, the distillery’s tour takes visitors on an immersive experience from grain to glass throughout the stunning 55,000 square foot distillery campus… READ MORE

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