New York-based SCAPE/Landscape Architecture has beat out 4 national/international firms, including JDS Architects, to design a Masterplan for the Town Branch Commons, a two-mile linear stretch of green space that will connect the eastern and western sections of downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The Competition has garnered attention for its interesting challenge: to bring the Town Branch Creek, a river which has been underground for over 100 years, to the surface.
Jeff Fugate, President and COO of the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, which sponsored the competition, noted that “The [five-person] jury had five excellent choices, but SCAPE clearly was above the competition.” Aaron Betsky, the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the jury chairman also explained the choice: “As a jury, we felt inspired and excited by the breath of the designers’ vision, while we felt confident that they would be able to implement their plan.”
Kate Orff, founder of SCAPE, notes that the firm is looking forward to working with the community to make the vision a reality: “SCAPE is so thrilled to be a part of this exciting initiative to revive Town Branch, make new connections downtown, and improve the quality of life in Lexington. We’ve been inspired by the realities and conditions on the ground and by the potential of water to inform the design of new urban landscapes.”
Find out more about the Masterplan, after the break…
According to the Press Release, “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.”
BusinessLexington reports that SCAPE’s plan includes a “linear collection of pocket parks, rain gardens, pools and fountains stretching from Winchester Road and Midland Avenue, through Thoroughbred Park, down Vine Street, around Triangle Park and completely replacing the Cox Street parking lot behind Rupp Arena.” The article also notes that renderings indicate that a large body of water behind the Arena is also planned.
Moreover, SCAPE’s Masterplan stresses flexibility: it will continue to evolve over the next six months with the participation of the Downtown Development Authority and the Lexington community; as such, the plan has no price tag as of yet.
The winning design, along with the four other submittals – by Denver-based Civitas, Minneapolis-based Coen+Partners, Dutch firm Inside Outside, and Danish firm JDS Architects - will be on display at the Downtown Arts Center in Lexington through Feb. 22.
Story via BusinessLexington and SCAPE’s Press Release
More information at www.townbranchcommons.com