David Baker Architects

Sloss Docks


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Sloss Docks is a dynamic redevelopment of a warehouse and industry shipping center across from the National Historic Landmark Sloss Furnaces and near downtown Birmingham, AL, connecting the city’s thriving neighborhoods to its urban core. DBA worked with a local team for a series of intensive community design charrettes that engaged local residents and the local industrial arts community.

This development begins the revival of a site and surrounding area that will expand to include housing and other dynamic urban uses. The design transforms the industrial site into a lively and active maker-style hub anchored by a local micro-brewery, Back 40 Beer Company, with a 1.5acre beer garden, as well as a full-service restaurant.

We carved two public “streets” through the center of the warehouse building to break down the industrial scale and create a pedestrian connection to the disused rear of the site. Entered through a tall portal, these interior passages provide access to the new internal commercial area, flexible spaces with high ceilings to accommodate tenants that want an open office environment or need capacity to accommodate light manufacturing. The historic loading docks have been integrated into large shared porches to engage with the surroundings, activate the edges, and provide seating for live music and other outdoor public events hosted on site at night.

Former Loading Docks

Site Plan

Interior