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Design Work - Memphis Slim Collaboratory

© Ken West
In the spirit of collaboration and experimentation, I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a part of the Memphis Slim Collaboratory (Collab + Laboratory) project team by the creative placemakers at Community LIFT. As a community revitalization project with Memphis Music Magnet, the former home of blues musician Peter Chatman a.k.a. "Memphis Slim" was beautifully renovated into a music studio where musicians can learn, rehearse, and create music right across the street from the historic STAX Records and museum in the heart of Soulsville.

The architecture and interior architecture designed by local firm brg3s with project architect Jason Jackson, represents a thoughtful celebration of Memphis Slim's life. They say it best in their project description:
His boyhood home was typical of many in the low-income neighborhood in which it is located. Like the others, it reflects the character of the individuals in the community, including Memphis Slim: strength, survival against overwhelming odds, and resourcefulness. Key to the Memphis Slim Collaboratory project is maintaining that sense of success against adversity, inspiring future musicians to achieve despite potential setbacks, while simultaneously generating something new and more open to the community.

© Ken West

Memphis Slim quote wall graphic / © Ken West
My involvement was near the finish line several months before the grand opening helping select the furniture, creating the wall graphic, and designing the globe light chandelier in the stairwell. We also brought in local craftsman Caleb Sweazy to build custom furniture, a bench for the porch and coffee table for the entry lounge reusing wood salvaged from the original house.
© Ken West

© Ken West

© Ken West

© Ken West

Since the grand opening in April, the design has gained an incredible amount of well-deserved press and recognition including ArchDailydwellinhabitant, freshome and inspirationist. It was most recently featured as the project that represents the whole state of Tennessee by American Architects, received a Merit Award by the AIA Tennessee, and the Grand Winner by Builder's Choice and Custom Home magazine. Whew! and Woo-hoo what a list. Look for it in their October issue, but better yet, go see it for yourself today as Neosoulsville activates the front porch/outdoor stage with live music. Awards are a great honor but true validation is fulfilling and exceeding it's design purpose.

More info on Memphis Slim Collaboratory and booking, click here.


Special Thanks to Leni and Eric. All photos by Ken West.

Furniture and Fixtures - Select Resources
Wood and metal bench and coffee table, Caleb Sweazy Works.
Chandelier of globe pendants and tulip lounge chairs, West Elm.
Educational Space chairs and tables, Spaces Group.
Wall vinyl - Walls That Talk on Etsy.

1 comment:

  1. I love the ceilings!!!! Do you have other houses like this?
    Remember to add it to your Besty List!


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