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UK Design Proposals Strike Chord with Community

Next year a structure based on the work of the University of Kentucky’s own interiors and landscape architecture students will pop-up along the streetscape of Lexington’s Southland Drive. The structure, designed to both increase aesthetics and aid pedestrian mobility in the area, will come to be as part of the semester-long project, “Retrofitting the RETRO,” presented by Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s (LFUCG) Division of Planning.

Based on voting at an exhibition of student design proposals held last week and a review by a selection committee, three winning designers, including landscape architecture student Rakeem Bradshaw and interiors students Mallory Stein and Veronica Steen, will be invited to discuss their design ideas further for the corridor with the Division of Planning, Southland Association, property owner(s) and other stakeholders this January.

Winning entrants’ design(s) will then be the basis for a design/build project in the spring 2017 semester with a design/build workshop hosted by local architecture, design and fabrication studio Nomi, who will advise the final design. In addition to being part of the execution process of the pop-up, the winners also were awarded cash prizes for their concepts. Support for the design and construction process of “Retrofitting the RETRO” was made possible through a $10,000 grant from the Blue Grass Community Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

First place designer Rakeem Bradshaw, of Louisville, Kentucky, is excited to “actually make a difference” on Southland Drive and be such an integral part of this project that is allowing UK students to leave their mark on such a popular Lexington neighborhood.

“I’m really excited that my design got selected. I really put a lot of thought into it, so I’m glad to see that it will be represented in Southland Drive. And to think that I spent my whole semester working on Southland Drive is really cool.”

Like many of his fellow students, Bradshaw’s winning proposal, “The Music Lounge,” was an homage to Southland Drive’s history of music-making as the previous home of the of Southland Jamboree and the site of multiple music stores over the years. His goal was to create a very modern space that people could come in and sit and relax in the shade provided by pergolas. To tie his design into the area’s musical history, his proposal literally encourages visitors to contribute to the sounds of Southland with play spaces for children that include wind chimes made from PVC and a tuned drum.

For more information or to sign up to email updates about the project, go to southlandsidewalks.com and/or contact Brandi Peacher in the Division of Planning at bpeacher@lexingtonky.gov.

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UK Design Proposals Strike Chord with Community