Erwin Oil Exterior Washington Street

Erwin Oil


Ram Realty


Architecture, Interiors

Project Size

310 units
7,791 sf. retail


2026 (est.)

Construction Type



Contemporary & History Collide.

Durham, NC

Erwin Oil, a former oil distribution site, has a long history in Durham dating back to 1937. Creating a place where people live, work, and play compelled the design team to research its rich past and infuse into its future development.

Erwin Oil Exterior Corporation Street

History, preservation, & imagination.

The team embraced that history and steeped Durham’s vibe by preserving critical pieces of the site while imagining a place where a contemporary, vibrant destination district would emerge, melding within the neighborhood. Historical artifacts of the former place were retained and repurposed as crucial elements in the fabric of the community. The former site’s five large oil tankers serve as lit art elements throughout the site and parts of the dismantled site’s former train trestle.

Erwin Oil’s new home.

The two buildings boast a modern aesthetic that complements the neighborhood context and will be home to over 300 apartment homes. The façade is a playful yet subtle mixture of materials and patterns, creating a visual experience that builds as one spans outward. The rooftop amenity captures Durham skyline views while serving as a social place. The ground floor contributes to the street energy with over 7,000 square feet of retail space and a shared pedestrian plaza.