To tap into creative design solutions and explore ways to spur development in a new downtown “Arena, Arts and Entertainment District,” DUSP alum Jeff Fugate (SM/MCP, 2007), President and COO of the Lexington (KY) Downtown Development Authority, organized an international competition to design a new downtown park. The winner of the competition---chosen by a five-person jury, including architects, a developer, the director of an art museum and an editor of an architecture publication---was announced earlier this month: SCAPE/ Landscape Architecture, for their entry for the Town Branch Commons.
The winning design integrates history, geology, and ongoing development initiatives into a thread of new public spaces along the path of Town Branch as it weaves through Downtown. Lexington was named on the banks of the creek in 1775. According to a recent article in The Architect's Newspaper, “the firm’s proposal—called Reveal, Clean, Carve, Connect—seeks to create a procession of distinct 'blue rooms' where Town Branch surfaces to create site-specific interactions with surrounding urban conditions.”
“This plan has the extraordinary potential to call upon our rich, authentic history, and link our world-class rural landscape to our dynamic urban core,” noted Mayor Jim Gray. “The plan for Town Branch Commons is a long-range plan,” Gray continued. “Getting our financial house in order comes first. That’s what we’ve been working on. But good plans are essential. That’s what this represents. We will need private funding sources. But it will happen.”
For more on the competition, see http://www.townbranchcommons.com/.