Tuesday, September 25, 2012
JSH’s KY: Covington’s Ascent at Roeblings Bridge one of state’s ‘boldest and bravest’
Kentucky is a state jam-packed with unusual architecture, and we’ll be examining many of those structural wonders in installments of this column to come. But for my money, there’s no more astonishing building in the Commonwealth than The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge – or as the locals call it, simply The Ascent.
(Photo from JSH)
Resembling an elegant staircase or a bridge to infinity, The Ascent is the creation of Daniel Libeskind, who was commissioned to design it in 2004. The building was completed in Covington last year and is one of Kentucky’s boldest and bravest buildings, architecturally speaking. In 2008 it was awarded a CNBC Americas Property Award for Best High-Rise Development.
Libeskind, who formerly taught at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, says that his design was influenced directly by the Roebling Bridge itself, and by the Ohio River. “Its curving crescent form and sloping roof line are designed to maximize views, resulting in unobstructed visibility of the Cincinnati skyline from every unit,” says Libeskind. “The ascending height of the building mimics the suspension cables of the nearby Roebling’s Bridge, a central feature of Covington’s waterfront and links the low horizon of residential structures to the east with the more modern commercial buildings to the west.”
The Ascent is 293 feet (89 meters) tall, with 20 stories leading up to a coiling, ascending roof that abruptly truncates to a point, like stair steps into another invisible dimension. It has 70 luxury condominiums and an exclusive amenities level that includes guest room, a coffee bar, event areas, a small private theater that seats 10, and a playroom for children.
Their website states:
More than a luxury condominium, The Ascent is at once an aesthetic statement and a towering architectural achievement. Its signature arcing profile invites a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to be part of an exclusive community that literally lives in an original work of art.
Claim your reward in this magnificent, inspiring structure that soars upward, reaching to the sky.
Heck, they’re just about talking me into it. Who wants to move to Covington with me?
Not everyone understands the finer nuances of postmodern city planning, however. Some have expressed puzzlement at its design and suggested that it might be somewhat out of character with its surroundings. To each their own, I suppose, but for me, the fact that the building is so extremely special is entirely the point. I wish more architects dared to be special. It looks almost as if some sort of alien shard from space has come crashing down and ensconced itself into the city. That is to say, I adore it.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. once observed, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Jeffrey Scott Holland is a native Kentuckian, painter, writer, actor, musician, paralegal – and interested in all things. He joins a growing stable of talented, interesting regular columnists for KyForward.com, bringing his gift of a well-turned phrase, quirkiness and humor to entertain and enlighten — and sometimes provoke — our readers. He can always be reached at any time, by anyone on the planet, at email@example.com.