Studio Gang to Reimagine Stalled Lexington Tower

Friday, April 8, 2011
Proposed CentrePointe tower in Lexington, Kentucky (Courtesy Webb Companies)

Proposed CentrePointe tower in Lexington, Kentucky (Courtesy Webb Companies)

Studio Gang has been hired to reimagine a stalled mixed-use high-rise in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Having languishing through the recession and without financing, the development called CentrePointe may now gain momentum thanks to the fresh eye of the Chicago-based firm responsible for the much-praised Aqua Tower. Jeanne Gang, principal, told AN her office will be preparing several concept plans over the next six weeks demonstrating new design strategies that could guide the future project and attract new tenants and financing.

The proposed $200 million tower has been scaled back since it was first proposed several years ago. Current plans call for a 25-story tower with a mix of residential, commercial, retail, and hotel space. Studio Gang will be presenting several scenarios to keep the mix of uses while better integrating the design into the community and attracting future buyers.

“There’s a definite urban design component,” explained Jeanne Gang. She said Lexington can sometimes feel like a commuter city. “We want to get people out of their cars.” Beyond making the city more pedestrian friendly, Gang expects to develop strategies to mediate the varying scales surrounding the full-block site. One side of the block offers two- and three-story historic structures while another features larger office towers.

Developers drew the ire of the community by razing the block, which once housed small-scale historic buildings. Now that the damage is done, however, the city and developers hope to move forward with a rejuvenated plan. “The site is literally a tabula rasa,” joked Gang. “It’s sitting there waiting for something good to happen.”

Gang visited the site several times in March to evaluate site conditions. Her firm is already familiar with Lexington, however. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Studio Gang proposed a new Lexington city hall and has been retained to develop a master plan for the University of Kentucky’s College of Design.

“The area has good bones,” said Gang. “There are some really nice historic buildings and two colleges nearby. There’s also a very active convention center and basketball arena.” She has also drawn inspiration from the horse farms and their prototypical wooden fences surrounding the city. For the time being, the CentrePointe site, now covered in bluegrass, is also surrounded by a similar split-rail wooden fence.

2 Responses to “Studio Gang to Reimagine Stalled Lexington Tower”

  1. Kevin Murphy says:

    When I saw the image on my Facebook page, I thought that it was going to be a reworking of the Holiday Inn in Lexington, but seeing the rendering here, I believe that it is superficially evocative of that old building, but a much grander design. Am I correct, that this is a new building, and not the reworking of that other? (Either way, this appears to be a much more attractive building.)

  2. The Lexington Streetsweeper says:

    Kevin, the rendering shown is the first of the two “scaled back” proposals. I doubt that any rendering exist of the plans which they hope to put out in 90 days. I feel that, once again, Lexington is beginning to follow one particular firm or school of thought in the name of cohesiveness in design.

    Also, the fencing around the CentrePointe block is standard horse farm style and definitely NOT “split rail”.

Post new comment

Name (required)

E-Mail (required)

Advertise on The Architect's Newspaper.

Submit your competitions for online listing.

Submit your events to AN's online calendar.



Copyright © 2015 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC | AN Blog Admin Log in. The Architect's Newspaper LLC, 21 Murray Street 5th Floor | New York, New York 10007 | tel. 212.966.0630
Creative Commons License