Rehabilitating MAPO Oil Depot

2014 - Seoul, Korea

Rehabilitating MAPO Oil Depot

Seoul, Korea

CLIENT Seoul Metropolitan Government / STATUS Competition, 2014 / SIZE 75 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, N.E.E.D. Architecture / PHOTOS Balmori Associates, N.E.E.D. Architecture

The competition called for transforming an industrial relic into a cultural venue with specific programs in mind. As a deserted relic, the site lacks accessibility and urban connections, which are two pre-requisites for successful cultural intervention. The proposal tackles these two basic problems both directly and indirectly by creating resilient and open infrastructure.

Giant oil tanks in man-made craters, only reachable by climbing steep steps on a hill, are not fit for public use unless drastic occupancy control and safety measures are deployed. We propose bold earthwork, cutting away the front section of rock craters to allow for easy access and tucked-in service spaces. Cuts will surgically limit the area where the least amount of excavation occurs and the resultant crushed stones are recycled to pave a new porous parking lot. Repurposed steel plates from the tank #3 compose concrete formwork of the new retaining wall against the cuts.

Programmatic resiliency is built into the refurbished tanks. Except for the tank #1, which is preserved in its original state, other tanks are revised in such a way that, with use of heavy gauge materials and simple modifications, they can perform with greater flexibility and durability. Centrifugal plan with hollowed-out core allow for hosting various types of public events in different magnitude, overcoming the inherent disadvantage of contextually disconnected site through contingent adaptability.

Parque Del Rio

Medellin, Colombia

Parque Del Rio

Medellin, Colombia

CLIENT China Vanke Co.Ltd / STATUS Proposal / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Studio Area 4

Imagine a city that takes its river channeled, it revives two water systems, crosses and recruza with beautiful bridges intertwined with parks in its entirety and intertwines all social groups equally at the same time. Imagine that and think if any other city capable of creating this intense set of transport, water, park and bridges; all twisted together and made one set. Venice and invented a creative solution to their situation that became the world's most beautiful city, Medellin has the opportunity to become a unique and beautiful city overhauling the things you need without wasting anything.

Meditation Room: Reflecting on Horizon




The horizon line is one crucial reference when experiencing landscape. What distinguishes a city from all other places are the multiple horizon lines stacked over one another, receding or advancing towards you, creating an effect of constriction and enclosure. The search for the sense of an open horizon is partly satisfied in an urban park: perhaps the real pleasure an urban park provides is not through its vegetation, as assumed, but its release from the constricted horizon line.

In Meditation Room: Reflecting on Horizon, commissioned by the City of Atlanta for ELEVATE 2015, the reflection of the sky and the earth introduces a new clear fabricated horizon in an otherwise congested urban panorama. Members of the public are invited to come in for a five minute meditation, a pause, to connect with the sense of an expansive horizon in the smallest of spaces.

Diana Balmori wrote in Drawing and Reinventing Landscape (Wiley, 2014) that “Landscape architecture is an art of peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is essential for understanding and appreciating landscape; central vision alone cannot capture it.”

Reflecting on Horizon is part of an ongoing series of experimental art installations from Balmori that explore themes such as peripheral vision by creating meditative experiences in the urban realm.

Balmori Associates completed its first meditation room, Meditation Room: Horizon presented by The Drawing Center for the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival 2015. In September, “Making Horizon” opened at the 10th China (Wuhan) International Garden Expo. Read more

Play Park

2015 - Dublin, Ireland

Play Park

Dublin, Ireland

CLIENT The Matheson Foundation and Dublin City Council / STATUS Competition - highly commended, 2015 / SIZE 3.75 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, John McLaughlin Architects

Play Park is designed as an inclusive space, accessible to all and full of attractive programs for people of every interest and age groups to enjoy. Teenagers can hang out at the skate park behind the berm; Parents with strollers can relax and enjoy a coffee with friends watching their kids climb, slide and roll down the rubber landforms; thrill seekers can bike through the bumpy BMX circuit; explorers can adventure in the enchanted forest and the bioswale to watch and learn about the local wildlife.

Intimate moments of tranquility and repose can be experienced at the flower garden and on the rolling hills. Spectacle and action can be enjoyed looking at the skate bowls and BMX tracks from the safe main path. For special events Play Park will transform into a venue buzzing with life and activity, the main open lawn becoming a large performance space accommodating from 100 to 500 people.

The programs and activity of Play Park are concentrated and organized along the main path that runs the length of the site.

Greenwich Residence

2017 - Old Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Greenwich Residence

Old Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

CLIENT Private / STATUS Under construction / SIZE 0.75 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates,  Joeb Moore and Partners / PHOTOS Balmori Associates,  Joeb Moore and Partners

In 2012 during Hurricane Sandy a major fire ripped through a small residential community in Greenwich, Connecticut destroying several homes. With that the owners of one of the homes that had been completely destroyed, Balmori were commissioned with Joeb Moore & Partners Architects to design a fully integrated architectural and landscape environment. Embodying the latest innovations in sustainable design, the passive-house standard design for the modern home is complemented by a green roof and rainwater management garden that retains all of the on-site run-off rainwater.

The long rectangular lot is unusually special in that is book-ended by private lanes at either end. The primary concept for the design of the landscape and the house was to create a long linear path that connects the rear access lane up onto the pool terrace, through the house and down through a terraced natural meadow that overlooks the serene long island sound. The walkway is designed with a custom pattern to emphasize the linearity of the path and this is complimented by a row of gingko trees running alongside it.

 The walkway crosses over a variety of landscape features that showcase the beauty and functionality that landscape design has to offer. A small courtyard separating the house from the garage contains a miniature Japanese rock garden with a specimen dwarf pine. The view of the long island sound from the living room and outdoor dining patio is framed by a heath and heather garden with a wild variety of species. The landscape also has productive elements with a small herb garden set on elevated planters and a small orchard of cherry trees set in a natural meadow. At the end of the site a bioswale is designed to retain run-off rainwater from the site and is planted with a variety of white and blue flowering rain garden plants that offer seasonal interest.

The lightweight timber clad house is set in a landscape that compliments the architecture by using natural cleft bluestone for the low horizontal terrace walls on which the house rests and strategically positioning mature maple trees around the house to control views. The roof of the house is covered in an intensive mix of evergreen sedums and native grasses.

Torre Iberdrola

2012 - Bilbao, Spain

Torre Iberdrola

Bilbao, Spain

CLIENT Iberdrola / STATUS Competition Winner, Completed 2012 / SIZE 300,000 m2 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The winter garden functions as the lobby and reception area of the Iberdrola Tower. To enhance the character of the space, we selected three ancient olive trees. These trees, treated as sculptures, will emerge from a landscape composed by desert flowering plants.

The public plaza around the tower has been designed over a submerged parking garage. This roof garden reads as the continuation of the surrounding landscape of the Campa de los Ingleses Park, also designed by Balmori Associates.

The tower is LEED certified and all the water arriving to the site will be treated. There is a bioswale surrounding the tower to collect, filter and clean the water arriving to the site.

Hermas Development

2017 - Doha, Qatar

Hermas Development

Doha, Qatar

CLIENT Hermas Investment Company / SIZE  10,000 m2 / STATUS Under Construction / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, One Lux Studio

The Hermas Development will feature four office buildings organized around a central courtyard. Each building has retail on the ground floor, nine office floors, and a tenth roof level amenities connecting all four buildings. The roof level amenities house the Al Kamal headquarters, a Spa, Gymnasium and a restaurant for fine dining. Sitting on a site area of 15,220 m2 and rising 47 meters in height Hermas Development will be LEED Certified and have a 5 star QSAS rating.  

An Islamic pattern is reinterpreted through the site.  Modified, scaled, simplified, the pattern becomes at times the layout of the courtyard, at others, a paving pattern, the edge of the water feature, and benches.

The shade, the sound of the water, the vegetation and the color palette will provide a sense respite and freshness as soon as one enters the courtyard. Materials with warm colors are selected for the streetscape and cool color ones such as greens and greys for the courtyard.

The planting palette for the courtyard showcases native tall vertical palms and acacias well-known for their horizontal canopy. The sun study of the courtyard maps areas of sun exposure suitable for planting trees, and consequently where the earth berms up to allow for planting depth.

The terraces on the 4th and 10th floors feature pixel like planters allowing for more intimate spaces where one can sit alone or in a small gathering. The terraces of the 4th floor have a white, a red, a blue and a yellow garden; the ones on the 10th floor have a scent garden, an edible garden and an orange grove. The vegetated roof of the 9th floor displays arabesques of sedums.


City-County Building Plaza

2014 - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

City-County Building Plaza

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

CLIENT Central Indiana Community Foundation, The City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development / STATUS Competition finalist 2014 / SIZE 1.94 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Kevin Roche Dinkeloo Associates

The overall landscape design is to construct a system which takes cues from natural processes and makes them visible in an urban context. Three landscape systems define the organization of the plaza: the terraced rain gardens of the Ribbon, the sculpted native meadow of the Berm and the perimeter landscape.

The terraced rain gardens of the Ribbon create an occupiable interface between structure and landscape. Storm water is collected and then pumped up the Ribbon structure which has been designed to filter the water through a series of terraced rain gardens with a strategic native plant palette. The filtered water is then retained for site irrigation and water features in a large cistern at the base of the Ribbon. The planting on the ribbon creates a rich and unique experience as visitors walk along a tree-shaded and richly planted environment opening to a dramatic view towards the heart of downtown Indianapolis.

The sculpted native meadow of the Berm is planted with species that require no fertilizers or pesticides. The meadow is mown to provide an open lawn for visitors. Rather than using turf or “Industrial Lawn”, a “Freedom Lawn” introduces various grass species, clover and wildflowers that fix nitrogen and reduce the need for pesticides. Seven mature live Lindens are retained in the mounded site topography which brings green space to the public.

Canopy trees from the existing plaza such as Maples, Magnolias, Crabapples, and Viburnums are saved for reuse on site, with the addition of a formal grove of Amelanchier trees at the entrance of the CCB. The perimeter landscape creates intimate spaces for café seating and defines the center of the plaza as a flexible event space.

The Gwynns Fall Trail Masterplan

1995 - Baltimore, MD, USA

The Gwynns Fall Trail Masterplan

Baltimore, MD, USA

CLIENT The Trust for Public Land, City of Baltimore Department of Recreation of Parks / STATUS Completed 1995 / SIZE 14 miles / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Meg Webster, Jonathan Fishman Architects, Edward Orser, Paul Barten, Kirsten MacDougall

Restoration of a stream established connections between the diverse neighborhoods along its path. The Gywnns Falls Trail Masterplan project is a response to community interest in restoring the Gywnns Falls Stream Ecosystem, which had been damaged over time by industrial pollution, illegal dumping, and neglect. The masterplan drew public attention to the stream and its watershed by outlining revitalization strategies, which included educational activities for area public schools and annual public celebrations. The design team consulted with citizens from 16 neighborhoods, 7 Baltimore city agencies and departments, as well as 47 public and private organizations and institutions.

The trail has seven separate segments running through various geographic and cultural areas of Baltimore, Maryland. The proposals were developed with respect to the particular terrain, vegetation, and cultural context of each trail segment.  The masterplan was a comprehensive study outlining recommended designs for trail routes, safety, signage, planting schemes, ecological restoration, and historical features management. In addition, the masterplan explored ethical and environmental procedures for its design and construction, namely eliminating the use of pollutants. This practice helped to produce jobs for the surrounding communities and was integrated into the educational process of the community.

The Gwynns Falls Trail vision was built on an earlier vision created for open public space in Baltimore.  In 1902, the Baltimore Municipal Art Society commissioned the Olmsted brothers to design a masterplan for Baltimore parks. Completed in 1904, the Olmsted Report recommended that the city acquire three principal stream valleys to protect the watershed from future development; it also envisioned a network of stream valley parks. The Olmsted Report was a starting place for Balmori Associates' evaluation process for urban open space because of its foresight, broad vision and its understanding of parks as an integral part of our cities.

Owens Corning World Headquarters

1997 - Toledo, OH, USA

Owens Corning World Headquarters

Toledo, OH, USA

CLIENT Owens Corning / STATUS Completed 1997 / SIZE 35 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

A historic regional form of landscape is restored as a way to link a building to its surroundings. Known as 'oak openings' in prairie planting, this form of landscape was present in Ohio before the arrival of Columbus. Balmori Associates' design scheme conceived of the Owens Corning World Headquarters project as an opportunity to restore this landscape form the area, an island in the Maumee River which was formerly a railroad site and then a dump site. The headquarters is sited on this island, in the heart of downtown Toledo. The oak opening landscape surrounds the whole complex; an intersecting trail for joggers and sightseers runs by the river's edge and through this landscape.

A secluded gated courtyard nestled among the main buildings offers a garden landscape as a contrast to the oak opening prairie outside and provides protected seating during severe seasons.

The meandering willow and dogwood hedge provides enclosure for each individual garden. The arching brick path and parallel row of oak trees define the edge between the courtyard gardens and the great lawn. Outdoor summer concerts are one of the several types of events taking place on the landscape's great lawn.

The oak openings prairie is now established. One section has been geometrically planted with beds of wildflowers, which will eventually disperse their seeds over the whole site

University of California at Riverside

2006 - Riverside, CA, USA

University of California at Riverside

Riverside, CA, USA

CLIENT University of California Riverside / STATUS Completed 2006 / SIZE 145,000 SF / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

Citrus trees flank an inlaid path that winds through a new courtyard for the arts, unifying the campus buildings, carving out a space for respite, and creating a historical link in a campus originally dedicated to agricultural research on oranges and grapefruits for the California citrus industry. Historical citruses were grown specifically for the project. The path is inscribed with lines of poetry that carry special significance for landscape and the site: Marilou Awiakta's Motheroot, and an excerpt from Virgil's Georgics.

Ronald Reagan Washington Airport

1999 - Washington, DC, USA

Ronald Reagan Washington Airport

Washington, DC, USA

CLIENT Metropolitan Washington Airports / STATUS Completed 1999 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates/ Pelli Clarke Pelli/ Leo A. Daly Engineers

A landscape masterplan, terminal landscape and terraces, and roadway landscape were all implemented at the Washington National Airport simultaneously with the construction of a new million square foot terminal and original Main Terminal renovation.  Balmori's design addresses the varying site and programmatic conditions of the individual terminals and their connecting roadway while unifying the entire airport facility. 

A linear landscape fronts the new terminal building with a trellised serpentine concrete wall and planted slope. Terraced plantings of evergreen hollies, magnolias, weeping forsythia and wisteria provide green scenery for waiting passengers in the baggage claim area. Passengers waiting for flights can rest in the landscaped rooms provided by two outdoor terraces shaded by wisteria in the trellises overhead.  Linkages between the GW Parkway and airport parking facilities are improved and a direct link to the Washington Metro is provided.

Cedar Lake Park

1995 - Minneapolis, MN, USA

Cedar Lake Park

Minneapolis, MN, USA

CLIENT Cedar Lake Park Association / STATUS Completed 1995 / SIZE 133 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

Site-specific interventions occur throughout the length of a linear park, functioning as special connectors and markers, their forms using the iconography of threads and spirals.

Balmori Associates was asked to work with the Cedar Lake Trail's community group to select sites of special significance along the six-mile long path that traverses the Minneapolis suburbs, city center and Mississippi River. 

The first intervention is a spiral of trees in the triangle formed by the intersection of several paths.  Considered to be the heart of the linear park, this quiet space is to be memorialized by the active participation of the trail patrons, who will plant and commemorate the trees with plaques.

In the second intervention, an existing mound adjacent to Cedar Lake is slightly modified into a truncated cone. Two interlacing paths are inscribed into its surface, weaving up the landform.  A concave peak accommodates gnomons to indicate the path of the sun and its solstices.

A third intervention includes the creation of a mound that negotiates and crosses the railroad tracks by way of a spiral pathway that descends the earthwork and wraps around Spring Lake, bringing trail users into the city.


2015 - Miami, FL, USA


Miami, FL, USA

CLIENT Friends of the Underline / STATUS 2nd Stage Finalist 2015 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Interboro, NADAA, Cure&Penabad, R&R Studios, Mobility in Chain, Bruce Mau Design, Transsolar, HR&A, Lisa Hammer, Geomantic Design, David Plummer & Associates

IMAGINE A THICK TROPICAL GREEN LINE creating a shady arbor snaking its way through Miami city rising up to the Metro station in parts, sinking to canal level in others, weaving its path around and under the Metro line.

IMAGINE ITS CHANGING CHARACTER, as it crosses differentcommunities, bringing in their best feature and adding a vision of the future common to the whole, an artistic interpretationof Miami as city of the future

IMAGINE PUTTING FORTH ITS VISIONARY PAST, a city only a hundred years old, creating artificial islands off its coast when nobody had thought of them. Christo/Jeanne-Claude wrapping them in fuchsia to call attention to them. Inventing a tropical landscape with Asian trees and producingan extraordinary section of the city with them.

IMAGINE THIS LINE BECOMING PART OF THE EVERGLADES AT ONE END AND PART OF CALLE OCHO AND BRICKELL AT THE OTHER, AND CONNECTING TWO   NATIONAL PARKS.  A thick green line, a thin green line,a meandering green line, a straight green line picking up the strong COLORof Miami, itsARTistic side (Christo, Art Basel, Perez Museum, Design District.....) its   OUTDOORNESS, the INVENTIVENESS of its tropical landscapeand its NEWNESS as a city.

IMAGINE THIS NEWNESS TAKING HOLD OF MOBILITY IN A NEW MANNER, making a unit of metro, bikeway, pedestrian way and Dixie Highway through a system of the latest technology which sensors the movement of each and coordinates all their movements. And integrating health stations along the way that deal with highway pollution.

This is the city of the future. This is Miami.  

Vassar College Francis Lehman Art Center Courtyards & Sculpture Garden

1994 - Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Vassar College Francis Lehman Art Center Courtyards & Sculpture Garden

Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

CLIENT Vassar College / STATUS Completed 1994 / SIZE 2,900 SF (entry & sculpture courtyards), 8,600 SF (sculpture garden) / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli

At Vassar College, two courtyards and a sculpture garden connect a 1913 art center building to later additions. Voids play against built solids. Traditional and modern materials combine to integrate old and new.

A stone and aluminum bench in the entry court terminates the axis from the new entry pavilion that leads to a sculpture courtyard. This courtyard, an intimate, glass-enclosed space, was designed as a visual extension of the reception area within the art center. Its rotating sculptures sit on a bed of yellow gravel. In the sculpture garden, a large L-shaped area and paved sections intersects with a delicately planted space. Red-leafed plantings ring the garden's perimeter and were chosen as background color for the monochromatic metal sculptures that will be exhibited.

Vassar College Avery Hall

2003 - Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Vassar College Avery Hall

Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

CLIENT Vassar College / STATUS Completed 2003 / SIZE 1.5 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / PHOTO CREDIT Mary Beth Meehan Photography 

This sunken courtyard was designed to serve as an accompaniment to the Avery Hall performing arts center and a Boyar dormitory. It is to be designed to hold outdoor performances, movie screenings and as an outdoor study space.

Two Lakes Park - Gwanggyo Trail

2008 - Gwanggyo, Korea

Two Lakes Park - Gwanggyo Trail

Gwanggyo, Korea

CLIENT International Design Competition for Gwanggyo / Lakeside Park / Gyeonggi Province, Suwon City, Yongin City, and Gyeonggi Urban Innovation Corporation / SIZE 1,828,836 m2 / STATUS Competition Entry 2008 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Inc. / Heerim Architects & Planners / ARUP

Not long ago, the South Korean government began decentralizing its power with the aim to control urban planning of provincial governments. Subsequently, the development of new cities in South Korea is relatively unpredictable and uncertain. A relatively new competitor to the South Korean urban development market is the city of Gwanggyo. In order to thrive, Gwanggyo and its public amenities must be resilient.

We envision Two Lakes Park as an adaptable organism that can respond to a variety of cultural, societal, programmatic, economic and political circumstances. Our design concept embraces the future as a responsive pattern of cultivation that advances the evolution of the park’s landscape. We have intentionally abandoned the notion of a final, designed, object for Two Lakes Park and opted for the emergence of an evolving landscape.

Our design strategically places insertions in these areas not only to increase stability, but also to create an amenity out of existing physical conditions. For example, a water feature knows as the Ponds collects stormwater run-off at the base of a cliff. The cliff soil is reinforced with a retaining wall that also forms the walls for the retention pool. The hypothetical projection of park performance below charts an imaginary trajectory for park development. We envision a park where wildness and human activity are always in flux.


Newport Garden

2006 - Newport, RI, USA

Newport Garden

Newport, RI, USA

CLIENT Nicholas Scheetz / STATUS Completed 2006 / SIZE 1,460 SF / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Outerbridge Horsey Architects / PHOTO CREDIT Mary Beth Meehan Photography

(Post) Colonial Garden

This is a fresh look at the ‘colonial garden’ for a 18th C. home in Newport Rhode Island.  As a port city, Newport was a lively center for the import and exchange of exotic plants.  Historic records of the lot revealed the colonial practice of planting orchards and the experimental grafting of fruit trees.  Utilizing the time honored play of shifting perspectives and scale, this relatively small space for generous entertaining is transformed into a series of luxuriant garden rooms.  3-dimensional espaliered pears, bands of bluestone paving and gravel and plantings maximize diversity and provide the garden’s structure.

Two conceptual notions excavated from colonial garden history are exercised to inform the program and organization of the (Post) Colonial Garden.  SOCIAL GARDEN (PARTY) is the act of cultivating a garden for entertainment and enjoyment and harvested as gifts. Plants are planted in bands with a seasonal and color coded ‘companion.’ 3-D ESPALIER SCREENS employ techniques of espalier, which first became popular several hundred years ago in the walled medieval gardens of Europe.  Few or no fruit trees could be grown in these walled gardens because of the limited space available. Following finely crafted stone walls, the espalier screen creates a 3-dimensional version of the traditional espalier while providing depth and transparency in the garden.

National World War II Memorial

1996 - Washington, DC, USA

National World War II Memorial

Washington, DC, USA

CLIENT National Competition for Government Services Administration / STATUS Competition Finalist 1996 / SIZE 14 miles / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

In 1996, an international competition for a national memorial to the Second World War garnered over 700 entries; five were selected as finalists. Ours was one of them. An alabaster island within a black granite pool is nestled in the axis of the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The island glows at night, lit from below. A Hall of Honor lies beneath, the island’s surface also the ceiling of an alabaster cube with luminous walls, ceiling, and floor.

The project is comprised of symbolic built elements: the cube whose roof is the glowing island is intersected above and below ground by two axes. The east-west axis represents time, while the axis running north-south represents space; the two weave together the war’s space and time into one cloth.  Procession down this promenade turns Island, Cube, Space-Time axes into memory in motion:  walking across the island in time--1931, 36, 41, 45 marked along the path-- down the ramps inscribed with the spatial maps of the war --Europe, Asia, America--through the Hall of Monitors showing individual histories, pausing in the Hall of Honor, exiting up to the mall and the end.

By day the pool’s black granite disappears beneath jets of white water.  On special occasions, the pool is emptied, and its large granite surface is used as a ground for parades and other public events.  The glass star inserted at the center of the island refers to the star banner used by thousands of Americans during the war to indicate they had a family member at the front.  

Town Branch Commons

2012 - Lexington, KY, USA

Town Branch Commons

Lexington, KY, USA

CLIENT City of Lexington / STATUS Invited Competition, 2012 / SIZE 2500 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, JDS Architects, Atelier Ten, Nitsch Engineering, James Lima Planning, Creative Concern

The future of Downtown Lexington is as exciting as it is unknown. The daylighting of the Town Branch Commons Creek presents an opportunity to kick off a strategy of multiple developments for Downtown Lexington. We have orchestrated this strategy by organizing it in zones of intensity rather than strict and linear phasing. Those zones are understood as districts and can be put into full or partial development in a flexible way. Our strategy’s center of gravity will be the portion of Vine Street defined by the Rupp Arena on one side and Limestone Street on the other. This segment is significant as it plugs itself on two zones of already existing capacity: on one hand, Rupp and its square, electrified at times of games and events in or out of the Arena, and on the other hand, Limestone, the main artery connecting the two universities, along which a series of small cultural and commercial programs already activate the neighborhoods.

By converting this key section of Downtown to public and smaller scale activities we will create a pocket of protected pedestrian life immediately adjacent to the surrounding buildings, transforming their relationship to the street into an active one. Main and High street will be changed to two-way traffic to provide a more fluid loop of car accessibility for downtown while narrowing car traffic on Vine street to a strict minimum of a single service lane on its South side. In time, the ground-floor of the surrounding facilities could be converted to more commercial activities as the neighborhood’s life develops. From this central node new intensity can radiate the adjacent districts in an almost random sequence. The most likely development to follow up or even be concomitant could be the Rupp Plaza, but also the residential and mix program (including parking) structure of Rupptown immediately South of the Arena.