A small but growing southern city with a developing arts, music, and restaurant scene, Opelika, Alabama is now home to the hotel Southerly. The elegant frontage of an old sash and blind factory on a block at the edge of the historic district forms the gateway to a new hub. Formerly the hub of manufacturing along a busy rail road, this block is now populated with empty metal warehouses and an interior of rectangular interstitial spaces ripe for intervention.
This proposal capitalizes on the voids between the buildings by allowing the planned programs of restaurant, maker space, and event center to spill into densely planted courtyards, gravel gardens and dappled groves. Thick clipped hedges further delineate these distinct rooms within the block. The spaces are then joined with a series of planted passageways and smaller gardens strategically inserted among the buildings, making space for dining, strolling, conferences, and weddings.