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Blue Grass Stockyards Open For Business!

On January 30th of 2015 the historic stockyards near downtown Lexington caught fire and burned. Almost all of the 10-acre property was destroyed. Blue Grass Stockyards came to Nomi in mid-February to discuss rebuilding a new state-of-the-art facility on a complex site in Fayette County. We worked quickly and collaboratively with BGS to develop a design that re-invents the idea of what stockyards can be. Just eight months later, in September, 2015 we broke ground with D.W. Wilburn Construction on a new site near the Kentucky Horse Park and earlier this week, on September 11, 2017 Blue Grass Regional Marketplace opened for business.

The new Lexington stockyards is a complex and unique type of facility that pairs time-tested methods of operation with leading trends in agribusiness. Similar to the other facilities owned by BGS, the new public building houses stockyards administrative and sales offices, a sales arena and café. But there are also new functions added which will alter their business model and transform how BGS interfaces with the public. The Lexington location now has dedicated areas for media services and internet sales, leasable space for agricultural retailers and even a museum and learning center where the public can learn about the history and operations of the cattle business. While streamlining sales operations, the new Lexington location will also nurture a new type of relationship with the community and make Blue Grass Stockyards a key player in agritourism, one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry.

Jim Gray, Mayor of Lexington and Gene Barber, Senior Partner of BGS prepare to cut the ribbon for the new Blue Grass Regional Marketplace.

Jim Gray, Mayor of Lexington and Gene Barber, Senior Partner of BGS prepare to cut the ribbon for the new Blue Grass Regional Marketplace.

Blue Grass Stockyards "Main Street"

Blue Grass Stockyards "Main Street"

The Yards Learning Center supported by the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, funded by  Farm Credit Mid-America  and  Tarter Farm & Ranch Equipment . Classroom space donated by  Bluegrass Stockyards . Designed and fabricated by Nomi.

The Yards Learning Center supported by the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, funded by Farm Credit Mid-America and Tarter Farm & Ranch Equipment. Classroom space donated by Bluegrass Stockyards. Designed and fabricated by Nomi.

We worked closely with BGS to develop an architectural style specific to their brand. In order to recreate the ‘magic’ of the original sales arena, we studied its dimensions, proportions and sightlines and incorporated those into the new design. We also repurposed the original brick pavers from the old stockyards for the main entry hall floor of the new sales building; a modern, double- height space filled with daylight and lined with retail storefronts. By melding historical elements and agricultural visual cues with modern proportions and materials we designed Blue Grass Stockyards’ new location in a style we like to call ‘AgMo’ or Agricultural Modern; a style we feel expresses their history while supporting their forward-thinking business approach.

BUSt! boredom: Ready For Its Close Up

Matthew Brooks, owner and founder of Nomi explains the inspiration behind the BUSt! boredom Mega Maze and Misfits installations.

Matthew Brooks, owner and founder of Nomi explains the inspiration behind the BUSt! boredom Mega Maze and Misfits installations.

Documentation of our recent work with the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, LexTran, LexPark and KaBoom! is currently underway. 

Last year, the LDDA's "BUSt! boredom" proposal to re-imagine the Transit Center was chosen as 1 of 50 winners from over 1,000 applicants to receive a grant from KaBoom!'s Play Everywhere Challenge, a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Initial concept sketch for Misfits

Initial concept sketch for Misfits

During Lexington’s Public Space Public Life Study performed by the Gehl Institute in 2015, the Transit Center was identified as a “harsh and undignified experience that forces transit users to wait in a space with few amenities cut off from the rest of Downtown." (Gehl, 2015) The goal of BUSt! boredom is to "encourage wonder, conversation, pride, and a sense of belonging for the almost 5,000 predominantly low income individuals who pass through this space every day" and to "inspire imagination and promote interaction among caregivers and children during their 10 to 15 minute wait." (LDDA, 2016)

Nomi worked alongside two other design teams, the UK College of Design and Informal Office to develop prototypical and replicable concepts that allow children (and adults) in Lexington to "Play Everywhere". Our two concepts, "Mega Maze" and "Misfits" are currently installed at Lexington's central transit center on Vine Street.

We had a lot of fun working on this one and are very excited to be part of this people-first design project for our city!

Read more about the critical role of play in education.

Come See Us at the KSBA Annual Conference!

We will feature our recently completed project, Fairview Independent High School at our booth this year!

We will feature our recently completed project, Fairview Independent High School at our booth this year!

The Nomi crew has been working together to design learning environments for over a decade. We are proud to exhibit our work this week at the Kentucky School Board Association's 81st Annual Conference!

Back to School at Fairview Independent!

We're pleased to announce the opening of the new renovation and addition to Fairview Independent High School and Middle School!

Visit the project page to learn about the design strategies we used to customize this school especially for Fairview's teachers and students.

Fairview Independent's New Lobby