AIA Roc Holds Ribbon Cutting at Midtown Commons

Photo 2 AIA Roc Installation Ribbon Cutting

City Engineer Holly Barrett; Commissioner Norman Jones; Sabrina Boykin, Junior Architect for the City; Barbara Burke, Associate AIA, Installation Co-Chair; Jason Streb, AIA Rochester chapter president; Blynn Nelson; City Councilmember Elaine Spaull

Midtown Commons, at the corner of Clinton and Elm, has become downtown's newest open-sky gallery for the summer.  The Rochester chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Rochester), in partnership with the City of Rochester, unveiled its Installations June 19 at a ribbon cutting ceremony.  

The Installations are a series of architectural spaces, created by teams of Rochester architects and industry professionals, as part of AIA Rochester's centennial anniversary. "Using the past as a foundation, our Centennial initiatives are very future focused," said Jason Streb, AIA Rochester chapter president.  "We wanted to showcase the possibilities of architecture and the value of architects at a scale that all could experience."  The idea for a built space competition was generated by AIA member Max Akulin.

The prompt for this design-build competition was intentionally left open-ended, with the sole requirement to incorporate a gabled roof, a widely recognizable form of architecture in western culture.  The seven winning entries interpret the gable in unique forms. They dot the park and invite the public to engage with such elements as a lending library, a mechanism for recycling bottles, and a history of building materials.

The project is Rochester's first public architectural installation.  "Installations occur where there is a strong and energized design community and a community at large that puts trust and value in its designers," said Installation co-chair Barbara Burke, Associate AIA.  

"We could not have made this statement without the support and faith of the City and especially the designers," said Streb, adding, "We stand here now, celebrating a one of a kind moment not only for our organization but for the City in general."

"This energy here is just infectious," said Commissioner Norman Jones of the City of Rochester, who spoke about the importance of design as the number of downtown residents continues to grow.  

The Installations will be on display through Labor Day in Midtown Commons Park.  "We hope that people will enjoy exploring these during Jazz Fest, the Fringe Festival, and Food Truck Rodeos." said Burke. "Everyone's interpretations will be different, memorable, and special, and hopefully a relationship with architecture will be developed where there may have been none."

Image credits

Photo 2 AIA Roc Installation Ribbon Cutting

Vince Press

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