Covington Alleys Rejuvenation

Experiential Graphics- Large scale (environments or systems)

Project Narrative

Cities historically use alleys as an essential, but pragmatic, piece of infrastructure. They are characterized as afterthoughts, dangerous, or seedy. Covington is turning that around by embracing the eclectic, funky side of cities. They don’t want to hide the authentic use of utility; they want to celebrate and find new ways of using the practical to create cool vibes. These concepts are the beginning of transforming alleys into walkable networks through the city core to connect districts and inspire ad hoc gatherings and spontaneous reactions to hidden gems.
Nearby residents and businesses weighed in with their ambitions for each alley design. These three examples offer a groundwork for future alleyways to implement their own distinctive advancements.
Legacy Alley neighbors simply desire a safe, clean alley with enhanced lighting and reflective domes for better visibility with traffic. Tobacco Alley neighbors want a hip vibe that engages the public. This design calls for chalk art that generates a new canvas with each rain. An exterior chandelier made from auto parts celebrates local business. This featured lighting element hangs near a small parking lot by day that transforms into a happening place at night. Go-Bos create the mood and a local business provides the sound that inspires an impromptu, outdoor club.
The furthest implemented intervention is Innovation Alley which is flanked by one of the oldest institutions on earth, the Catholic Church, and the newest, a tech incubator. Murals help knit these stories together across millennia. While Jesus of Nazareth is said to have made all things new, Covington innovators are given their due with portraits and narratives that express their impact on the world. An open frame allows each visitor to leave their own mark on Covington. You won't find any fake-historicism here, and certainly no acorn ped-lighting. This is a city that embraces its funk with jelly jar lighting and exterior conduit as a modern graphic device.


Project Details

Submission Category

Experiential Graphics- Large scale (environments or systems)

Date of Completion

August, 2020

Submitting Firm Name

emersion DESIGN

Project Team

Environmental Designer

emersion DESIGN (3 alley concepts)

Innovation Alley Installation Designer

Renaissance Covington (design and execution at Innovation Alley)