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OMA Designs Food Port for West Louisville

OMA has unveiled plans for a mixed-use project that will consolidate facilities for the growing, selling and distribution of food for local farmers in Louisville. A collaboration with the non-profit Seed Capital Kentucky, the 24-acre “Food Port” will transform a former tobacco plant into an “active economic and community hub” that shapes a “new model between consumer and producer.”

“The diversity of program reflects the full food chain, as well as a new foodscape of public spaces and plazas where producers and consumers meet,” said OMA’s Partner-in-Charge Shohei Shigematsu, who is also leading the Alimentary Design research studio at Harvard University. “The Food Port acts as a catalyst to activate the surrounding neighborhoods, exemplifying one of the complex urban relationships between architecture and food that our studio is investigating.”

The expandable campus, which is expected to break ground this summer, will include an urban farm, edible garden, market and food truck plaza, retail space, classrooms, a recycling facility, and more. Continue after the break to learn more. 

Roof Plan. Image Courtesy of OMA Visitor Center. Image Courtesy of OMA Jefferson County Extension Office, Demonstration Farm. Image Courtesy of OMA Rooftop Plaza. Image Courtesy of OMA

Urban Fragment: Jose Oubrerie’s Miller House

This article was written by Seattle-based designer and critic Evan Chakroff

Lexington Kentucky’s Miller House is a built manifesto: an ambitious proposal for the future of suburbia in an age of unprecedented urbanization. Despite its pedigree – designed and built by Le Corbusier protégé José Oubrerie – and despite its (appropriate) selection as a “masterwork” by Kenneth Frampton, the project remains somewhat unknown and the architect underappreciated.

The house should absolutely occupy a place in the canon of great residential architecture. The complex composition alone should inspire myriad formal readings, but more importantly the house represents a model for communal life amid continuously-shifting family structures. It’s a radical rejection of a suburban lifestyle that has become socially, economically, and culturally unsustainable. 

SCAPE/Landscape Architecture Wins Competition for Lexington Masterplan

SCAPE's Masterplan for Lexington, Kentucky's Town Branch Commons. Image © SCAPE/Landscape Architecture
SCAPE's Masterplan for Lexington, Kentucky's Town Branch Commons. Image © SCAPE/Landscape Architecture

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 LexingtonKentucky. 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... 

JDS Shortlisted For Master Plan in Lexington, Kentucky

Town Branch Commons bird's eye view. Photo © Urban Collage, via
Town Branch Commons bird's eye view. Photo © Urban Collage, via

JDS Architects and 4 other national/international firms have been shortlisted to design a Master Plan for Town Branch Commons in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Competition, which attracted over 23 proposals, poses an interesting challenge: to bring the Town Branch Creek, which has been underground for over 100 years, to the surface (an idea originally proposed in 2011 by architect Gary Bates and the Norway-based firm Space Group), and redesign the Commons as a two-mile linear stretch of green space to connect the eastern and western sections of downtown Lexington.

Lexington's Downton Development Authority and the dean of University of Kentucky's College of Design, Michael Speaks, were floored by the quality of the proposals they received - a fact Speaks attributes to Jeanne Gang's influence; the well-known architect has designed two plans in Lexington and lectured there recently. As Speaks told, "Firms have heard that Lexington is friendly to good design, that the mayor is knowledgeable and wants good design."

Find out which other firms have been shortlisted, after the break...

Kickstarter: Fresh Punches //// Experimental Architecture Prototypes

Courtesy of suckerPUNCH
Courtesy of suckerPUNCH

Help kick start the suckerPUNCH + land of tomorrow exhibition that will feature twenty student projects from around the United States that explore the possibilities of fabrication and material experimentation at the start of the 21st century. Slated for Fall 2012, this exhibition will have it all – “transmogrifications, strange sensations, primal textures, unfamiliar geometries, self-propagating architectural species, augmented atmospherics, vicissitudinous juxtapositions, reinvented building typologies, sensual pleated skins, a crisis or two, physiologically responsive interfaces, threshold blurring gizmos, and plenty of robots”.

If funding is successful, this exhibition will provide the rare opportunity to display the exploration and research from multiple U.S. architecture schools in one location. The three top projects will have prototypes fabricated by Drura Parrish at PR&vD.

Support this project here. Continue reading for more information. 

Space Group Completes Lexington Master Plan

© Space Group
© Space Group

Space Group, based out of Oslo, Norway, recently completed the master plan for Lexington, Kentucky’s new Arena, Arts and Entertainment District. Beating out 13 other architectural firms, the 46 acre development will incorporate a basketball arena, convention center, performing arts center, school of the arts, offices, retail shops and housing. A unique aspect that was incorporated was the distinctive compactness of the existing downtown area and its proximity to residential neighborhoods. In order to accommodate predicted future growth, Space Group conceived a strategy that mirrors the footprint of the existing downtown district and projects it along an axis in line with the Rupp Arena. More info after the break.

© Space Group © Space Group © Space Group © Space Group

Video: The Green Wall at The Green Building / (fer) studio

The Green Wall at The Green Building in Louisville, Kentucky is a painting of plants that also cleans the air. “Painted” by Tracey Williams, the Garden Designer that collaborated with (fer) studio, The Green Wall gives visitors a different perspective of plants and their wonderful details.

Video: Wood Reclamation at The Green Building / (fer) studio

The Green Building, designed by (fer) studio, reached a LEED Platinum status through a series of innovative processes. As the first LEED adaptive re-use project in the state of Kentucky they reclaimed much of the building. This video post details the process of re-milling the original building’s structural wood into finished flooring and furniture.

Art House / De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop

© Roberto de Leon
© Roberto de Leon

De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop were challenged with the residential interior renovation of an existing 1970 4,200 sqf home. The owners, a young couple interested in collecting contemporary art, asked the architects to transform the character of the existing interior creating a balanced home and gallery with warmth and neutrality.

Follow the break to see more photographs and drawings of Art House, an AIA Kentucky Merit Award winner.

© Roberto de Leon © Roberto de Leon © Roberto de Leon © Roberto de Leon

Architects: De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA Project Area: 4,200 sqf Project Year: 2009 Photographs: Roberto de Leon

Museum Plaza update / REX

© Luxigon
© Luxigon

Like many large scale projects around the country, REX’s Museum Plaza, in the city of Louisville, Kentucky, had just broken ground and had given light to many dreams for the downtown community when the nation’s financial crisis hit the city. Needless to say, financing came to a standstill and funding for the towers the city had been hoping for was no longer an option. Their current construction loan of $140.5 million, city contributions, bonds and funds already put forth by the team was not enough to proceed in their construction efforts until positive news came their way at the turn of the month. More images and description after the break.