Irish Hill Announces Winners of Design Competition

A Scenic Walkway - First Place
Tina Ward-Pugh Inspects The Winning Entry
Tina Ward-Pugh Inspects The Winning Entry. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

The Irish Hill Neighborhood Association announced the winners of a design competition intended to generate ideas for an abandoned brownfield site in the heart of the neighborhood. After a close review of twenty submitted entries from around the world and an extended deliberation time, the jury awarded first place honors in the Mediative Urbanisms competition to a proposal by a team from Paris, France entitled A Scenic Walk.

View of Lexington Road from the Winning Entry
View of Lexington Road from the Winning Entry.

Irish Hill’s competition generated interest from seven countries on four continents and nine U.S. states. Proposals were varied in scope, theme, and program and each brought a unique set of ideas to the discussion. Ideas ranged from residential neighborhoods, to mixed-use town centers, to urban farmland, to bike parks, and an urban horse farm. In the end, the jury appreciated the winning entrant’s balance of natural and built elements on the 30-acre site combined with it’s mixed-use aspects and educational components.

A Scenic Walk creates three distinct landscapes each joined to a particular building type with development pushed to Lexington Road. The rest of the site is left open as a park with walking paths. Proposed development include mixed-use buildings and a residential tower set off the road with 60 new residential units. A large multipurpose space and marketplace negotiates a new “pond biotope.” Green strategies were a key element of the proposal both in the landscape and the built structures.

No plans exist to build the winning entry, but the neighborhood hopes the results will help create a vision for moving forward with the property. Creation of a town center for the neighborhood, conservation of the natural meanders of Beargrass Creek, and multimodal transportation options were major goals of the competition. All entries will soon be displayed for public viewing, but a site hasn’t yet been found. We’ll let you know where you can see the proposals when it’s announced.

A Scenic Walkway - First Place
A Scenic Walkway – First Place.
Walk The Line - Second Place
Walk The Line – Second Place.
Confluence - Third Place
Confluence – Third Place.
Beargrass Grown - Honorable Mention
Beargrass Grown – Honorable Mention.
Aerator Park - Honorable Mention
Aerator Park – Honorable Mention.

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden is a writer and architectural designer living in Brooklyn. After graduating from the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Branden practiced architecture in Louisville where he worked on several large LEED Certified buildings. Branden is the senior web editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, where he covers architecture, design, and urbanism. He has also written about design for Designers & Books, sustainability for Inhabitat, and architecture for the American Institute of Architects. He founded Broken Sidewalk in 2007, an online collaborative promoting architecture and urbanism in Louisville, Kentucky and the Midwest.


  1. a well-conceived and well-organized competition – and some beautiful results!
    congratulations to all involved. the crowd at the exhibit last night shows that there is an interest and a hunger for this kind of thing. i hope they find a venue where the entries can be displayed longer. i know i didn’t get enough time to spend really absorbing a lot of what was proposed!

  2. What an excellent collection of visions for that site! I have to say, I was disappointed when the original plans of Poe’s fell through and feared it meant the site would remain brownfield for quite some time, but I really think this competition is going to spark interest to not only develop the site, but incorporate these concepts into the development as they have been presented.

  3. In the article the property is characterized as an”abandoned brownfield site.” Last I heard there was an owner/developer (Poe) who had proposed development of the site, but his plan was opposed by the neighborhood association. How does that equal “abandoned”?

    One question: have any of the proposals put forth in this competition been adopted or even reviewed by the owner? If not, how can they be put into place. This may be a wonderful design competition, but I fail to see how the winner can be put into place without the owner’s participation.

  4. Something is happening on this site. Lot cleared, buildings painted, etc. Is one of the Big Ideas being used, or maybe just action taken to avoid city fines?

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