David Baker Architects

Blueprint Building


Slideshow | Details
Fullwidth image

View from 3rd Avenue South. Image: Chris Luker

The historic Blueprint Building was a disused mid-century masonry structure that originally housed a printing company and production space. In 2018, we gave the 11,500-sf building new life with a core-and-shell adaptive reuse, making contemporary and engaging spaces for a new restaurant and office tenants. 

In the industrial and transitioning Lakeview neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama, the Blueprint Building is located in Pepper Place—a now-vibrant zone of abandoned warehouses that have been undergoing imaginative, community-oriented upgrades since 1988—and is part of a of a larger urban story of revitalization.

As part of its structural upgrade, the Blueprint Building got a sunny courtyard, industrial porches, and new openings that extend and activate a pedestrian alley connecting west into the rest of Pepper Place.

The historic hand-painted sign and concrete logo were preserved. Custom steel staple-style bike racks are poised by the front door. Image: Chris Luker

Ganged and boxed windows create a dynamic visual cut through the simple brick building, providing light and views to new offices and preserving the horizontal lines of the structure without the cost and complexities of adding storefront. Lush plantings and new street trees add shade and buffer the sidewalk from the speedy traffic on 3rd Avenue South.

The building is organized into two volumes: the new restaurant space on the west and offices to the east. Both tenants enjoy the new courtyard and a connection to the extended pedestrian passageway linking the building to Pepper Place. The restaurant, Blueprint on 3rd, was designed by local architect Tom Hsu.

 

 

A custom cor-ten steel table, designed by DBA and fabricated by Alabama Sawyer, pairs with firepits from neighboring Frontera to invite gatherings under the garden lights. Image: Chris Luker

View from 3rd Avenue South. Image: Chris Luker

The historic hand-painted sign and concrete logo were preserved. Custom steel staple-style bike racks are poised by the front door. Image: Chris Luker

Image: Chris Luker

The west-facing entrance to the new restaurant space. Image: Chris Luker

Image: Chris Luker

A new bench, fabricated by local woodworkers from a fallen pine, upgrades the existing bus stop on 3rd. Image: Chris Luker

Image: Chris Luker

A steel plate awning signals the entry and shelters the door. Hardy vines line the perimeter of the building and grow up the eastern side. Image: Chris Luker

A new industrial porch takes the place of the old loading dock and activates the pedestrian alley. Sheltering the office entry, a cantilevered steel-plate awning extends the visual language of the window boxes. Image: Chris Luker

Image: Chris Luker

In the courtyard, warm-toned gravel, shade trees, and soft lighting welcome those approaching from the alley. Image: Chris Luker

A custom cor-ten steel table, designed by DBA and fabricated by Alabama Sawyer, pairs with firepits from neighboring Frontera to invite gatherings under the garden lights. Image: Chris Luker

Image: Chris Luker

Image: Chris Luker

A simple railing of durable weathering steel defines the edges of the new courtyard. Image: Chris Luker

A concrete lintel reclaimed from the original production shop gets new life as a bench. Image: Chris Luker

Table design. Image: David Baker Architects

Courtyard sketch. Image: David Baker Architects

Rendering view from 3rd Avenue. Image: David Baker Architects

Rendering view from southeast corner. Image: David Baker Architects

Adaptive reuse elevation: South. Image: David Baker Architects

Adaptive reuse elevation: West. Image: David Baker Architects

Adaptive reuse elevation: North. Image: David Baker Architects

Adaptive reuse elevation: East. Image: David Baker Architects

Existing elevation: South. Image: David Baker Architects

Existing elevation: West. Image: David Baker Architects

Existing elevation: North. Image: David Baker Architects

Existing elevation: East. Image: David Baker Architects

awards

Honor Award
AIA Birmingham

publications

Small but Mighty Acts of Urbanism at Birmingham's Pepper Place

project details

Category

Adaptive Re-Use, All Projects, Offices

​Location

Birmingham, Alabama

Architect of Record

David Baker Architects

Developer

Sloss Real Estate

Landscape Architect

Macknally Land Design

Structural Engineer

Tucker-Jones Engineers Associated

Contractor

Murray Building Company

Civil Engineer

Goodwin Mills Cawood

Permalink

www.dbarchitect.com/BlueprintBuilding

project data
3000 3rd Ave S 21714
Birmingham, Alabama
Completed June 2018
density ratios
project sf 11,452
site sf 13,553
parking
auto 12
bicycle 6
scope
core and shell
construction type
1 story IIIB