Coen + Partners’ vision for Town Branch Commons addresses the necessity to redefine urban context and our treatment of open-space networks as multi-functional landscapes embedded with systems, processes, and measurable metrics that have the ability to sustain such a design and breathe life into its environment. At a time when American cities must learn to reuse infrastructure, embrace population growth, and renew our uncoupled natural systems, “Let It Grow” unifies a vision for Lexington that echoes the existing character and complexity by building upon the brilliance that has defined this remarkable city and region. In the 21st Century, Town Branch is again a catalyst for city-building in Lexington.
As metropolitan regions expand, the wisdom garnered through our cities successes and failures becomes increasingly relevant. The reversal of well-intentioned but flawed infrastructural decisions amplifies in difficulty and complexity every year as the objects of our ambition age and subjectivity of the landscape becomes a necessity. Lexington is a unique case in this story, a city that has been ahead of the curve through the remarkable consideration of the urban growth boundary and the conservation of the region’s historic character. Although the underground channelization of the Town Branch was seemingly a necessity in the early years of the city’s growth, we can now see how the systemic renewal of a daylit creek and open space network could regenerate the heart of downtown and positively contribute to the cleansing of downstream waters and absorption of stormwater peaks. The future of the City is rooted in the necessity and the opportunity to work with existing objects, systems, and communities; Lexington is alive with all these things, but needs balance in order to thrive and respond to the changing dynamics of our natural and social systems.
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Awards: Honor Award - ASLA MN
COEN + PARTNERS WINS THE 2015 SMITHSONIAN COOPER-HEWITT NATIONAL DESIGN AWARD
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