Lexington, Kentucky has an underdeveloped cityscape. For the past decade the heart of downtown has had no program, thanks to a pit in the middle of downtown created due to failed funding in the CenterPoint tower proposition. The complications between ownership and funding resulted in cranes silhouetting the heart of the city, providing no further development in the downtown area. The studio’s proposition was to create a set of towers that would transform Lexington’s urban fabric and reinvigorate the visual and spatial complexities of downtown. As Lexington has been known for the past seven years for its downtown art walk, the desired program would be a series of vertical art galleries, met with arts administration and performance zones.
To begin the studio, the tower’s context was isolated and shrunk to the scale of a 10-inch by 10-inch cube, serving as an invisible boundary. Objects were then placed into the cube through an intuitive exercise based on volume operations and connections. In this exercise, the theme of my operations became known as the “Fragmented Friend”. A series of lines are created that attack the parameters of the cube: clashing, overlapping, and reacting. The density and projection of these lines then span to create surface. These surfaces have a degree of volatility in dimension, orientation, and points. When they are forcibly connected it creates volume that is perceived as fragmented. The narrative born of this exercise is centered around a series of collisions between these Fragmented Friends, fighting for the horizontal, the diagonal, and the vertical, then extruded even further outside of the parameters of the cube, their fight forming Lexington’s new cityscape.
The aftermath of these collisions introduces a series of masses that orient themselves according to context. The projection lines are frozen, creating leftover surfaces offset from the original volumes. This theme is manifested into a series of architectural details inspired by Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum. The offset surfaces are connected by these frozen lines. When scaled from pen to reality, these lines become the structural beams that span and join to support the tower. The resulting interstitial space introduces a threshold that dilutes the difference between outside and inside. The results allow egress in the vertical towers, and a latching system for production lights and displays in the horizontal tower.