Joshua Prince-Ramus 'Shocker' Planned for Louisville

June 01, 2006 |

Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal architect of Museum Plaza in Louisville, Ky., hopes people will be "shocked" by the building he's designed.

The $305 million project consists of a 1.2-million-sf mixed-use building, 61 stories at its tallest, bisected by an acre-sized, multiple-level public "island" hovering 22 stories above ground. Four legs below the island and three towers above the island intersect in between. Inside the island, a museum, retail space, and classrooms will be accessible by a sloping, glass-walled elevator. Two of the three above-island towers will contain luxury condominiums; the third will contain offices. Parking elements will be below grade.

Infrastructure improvements will add another $75 million to the project: In order to fit the plaza into a grouping of several tight urban sites, existing infrastructure and city streets will need to be relocated and some, such as an existing elevated expressway and high voltage power tower, will be accommodated. The current Ohio River flood protection wall will be relocated and incorporated into the walls of the below-grade garage.

Magnusson Klemencic Associates of Seattle has been awarded the structural and civil engineering contracts. Project architect is Ramus Ella Architects (known as REX), which Prince-Ramus formed with Erez Ella after leaving the New York office of Rem Koolhaas's Office for Metropolitan Architecture with more than 30 employees.

Construction is slated to begin in 2007.

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