The Town Branch Commons masterplan and design embraces the challenges and possibilities unique to the urban context of Lexington, Kentucky. The unique city had the foresight to establish an urban growth boundary to protect its brilliant rural character, nevertheless the city core has suffered as sprawl has left the downtown lacking in vibrancy and development. Coen+Partners’ vision utilizes the systematic renewal of a daylit creek and utilization of adjacent open-spaces to regenerate the heart of downtown while cleansing downstream waters, absorbing stormwater peaks, and increasing ecosystem services.
The Town Branch Commons design was completed as part of an international design competition and Coen+Partners was one of five invited teams to present and submit designs. The entire scope of the project was undertaken by Coen+Partners and the project involved an intense internal coordination of master-planning, technical analysis, site design, schematic engineering, and graphic representation.
After visiting the city and discussing the unique condition of Lexington, Coen+Partners began the project by addressing the relevance of growth and movement within the City. Recalling the historical presence of streetcars and the national movement towards multi-modal transportation, the masterplan outlines an expansion of downtown with an interrelated streetcar and park system that establishes future development through the utilization and enhancement of existing infrastructure, open space, and community. The masterplan was driven by metrics associated with five design overlays: cultural networks, energy dynamics, mobility scales, natural systems, and livable networks.