Space Group Architects unveil their vision for Rupp Arena
Space Group Architects with Inside-Outside Landscape Architects and Adams Kara Taylor Structural Engineers provided the vision for a new Rupp Arena Arts and Entertainment District in Lexington, Kentucky.
The re-envisioning of Rupp Arena (college basketball venue) presented a myriad of opportunities. Should Lexington's downtown epicenter gravitate west in search of a connection to the emerging Distillery District, the arena will find itself in an extremely desirable position mediating the transition between east and west downtown. More significant, though, are the spatial opportunities available within the arena's own confines and underutilised neighbouring property.
On first impression Rupp appears lost within its surroundings. Considering it is a place of pride in Lexington's sporting culture, its identity is ill defined. The laminated shopping center and convention center on its northern and eastern perimeters lie spatially and programmatically dormant while the arena's repose to the west offers little inspiration to the fervent UK Wildcat supporter approaching from the car park beyond. There is significant weight in the argument of liberating Rupp from its flailing 'growths'. Not only would this give it a new identity, but by giving it value as an object in space it becomes a true point of reference for the new downtown precinct.
The architects reorganised the entry situation of the arena to face a new public plaza toward Main Street on ground level, rather than today's mid-level entry facing the parking lot.Once the Arena is liberated, a new urban opportunity is created, as it becomes a true point of reference for the new downtown precinct. #Free Rupp solidifies the Lexington Brand as the home of one of the preeminent basketball programs in America.