As a visual anchor in Louisville Waterfront Park’s future Phase IV expansion area (currently a vacant post-industrial site), the Rowan Pump Station Building facade reimagines a new infrastructure element as a monumental folly that responds to a range of scales: the riverfront, the city, the future park, the adjacent elevated highway, and the eye-level visitor. Comprised of custom-profiled perforated aluminum and weathering steel panels, the façade design draws inspiration from its location along the Ohio River - abstractly evoking familiar river imagery such as shimmery water surfaces and ripples. During evening hours, integrated programmable LED lighting transforms the façade into a lantern, slowly cycling through a variety of colors and patterns.
Programmatically, the building houses the primary access point into the Waterway Protection Tunnel, an ambitious and monumental infrastructure development highlighted by a 4-mile-long underground tunnel intended to temporarily store the City’s sewer and stormwater overflow until pumped to regional water treatment facilities. At a depth of 225 feet below grade and partially routed below the Ohio River, the tunnel is part of an innovative $1.15 billion infrastructure network of underground storage basins that comply with an EPA commitment to reduce combined sewer overflows by 98% by 2020. The building interior is not accessible to the public.
Sustainable approaches emphasize durability, ease of maintenance and economy, and anticipates the site’s transformation from a post-industrial vacant lot into a highly visible and public setting within the future Waterfront Park Phase IV expansion area. All façade materials are recyclable and utilize modular repetition to minimize construction waste. Energy efficient LED lighting animates the façade.