Tag: Peace Plaza

Refined Prototype Furniture Returns to Heart of the City

Prototyping is a way to inform designs before they’re final. Over the years, you’ve seen DMC, the City of Rochester, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance prototype in multiple ways. From the Placemakers Prototyping Festival to the recent Community Couch and Flexible Fountain installation, each step has informed the next. Prototyping allows design teams the ability to react quickly to community feedback and to efficiently make modifications, with the end goal of creating a better design.   

This summer, DMC has been prototyping public benches – incorporating universal design – in and around the east side of Peace Plaza. The first installation of the bench prototypes was placed on Peace Plaza next to Primp. The Heart of the City design team sought initial reactions to the overall idea of the benches, their look and feel, and to learn how people use them.

The community used the benches in a variety of ways, standing and sitting while eating meals, using the lean bench for working, and having conversations. Strong feedback was received on the industrial look of the benches.  Some people wanted a softer, more approachable feel for public seating.

After a busy few weeks of modifying the Heart of the City bench prototypes, they will now be placed back onto Peace Plaza for phase 2 prototyping. The second prototype incorporates many of the suggestions provided by the community, including:

  • Adding wood to the seat and table/counter surfaces to provide a softer material to the touch
  • Adding color to the end panels to add visual interest and a more playful feel
  • Sanding the metal to smooth the edges of the joints and perforations

You can find the prototype benches on First Avenue in front of Primp. During the first prototype phase, the benches were set up in a way that encouraged conversation. During this second phase, you will notice that the benches are arranged differently – one faces the street, and the other faces the shops and the sidewalk. 

The design team invites you to stop by and check out the benches. A Heart of the City goal is to create seating that helps you get the most out of your public space and help make Peace Plaza a place where all will want to gather – community, visitors and patients. 

The design team would like to know what you think about the arrangement. When do you use them and why? How do you observe others using them? What are your thoughts on the new surfaces?  

Please send your comments to [email protected]

RFPs sought for operation and management of Rochester’s Historic Chateau Theatre

An iconic downtown landmark is promised new life as the City of Rochester announces call for requests for proposals (RFP) for the operation and management of the historic Chateau Theatre.

The Chateau Theatre is located in the Peace Plaza in Heart of the City which sees nearly 1.4 million visitors a year and within walking distance of over 2,200 hotel rooms.

“The Chateau Theatre is a community treasure and has always been at the core of our DMC Heart of the City planning,” says Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency. 

Prototyping with an eye to the future

Prototyping is not a new concept for designers. They regularly create early representations of an idea with intentions of testing a theory or response, then adapting the design into a bigger and better version of the original.

The same can be said when introducing prototyping into the public realm.

Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) recently invited local innovators to help activate the Peace Plaza in Heart of the City by installing their own prototypes in the space.

A call to “Lean in” and embrace the future at the DMC Annual Meeting

You might have been caught by surprise if you walked by the Peace Plaza on a brisk October evening and saw more than 200 people gathered together sharing a family-style meal outside. But that’s exactly what happened on October 17 during the inaugural Destination Medical Center (DMC) Annual Meeting, where the community came together to celebrate the impact of the first five years of the 20-year DMC initiative.

Testing Heart of the City Design Concepts in Peace Plaza

 

Prototypes in Peace Plaza

Destination Medical Center (DMC) and the Heart of the City design team collaborated with local prototypers to test out design concepts for Heart of the City Phase 1 and create an engaging public realm. The design team includes Minneapolis-based landscape architects Coen+Partners in collaboration with RSP Architects, El Dorado, Latent Design, Kimley-Horn Associates, and Fluidity.

 

The prototypers were selected based on work presented at the 2016 Rochester Prototyping Festival. The design team felt these prototypes resonated with Heart of the City public realm work and invited the prototypers to test out a 2.0 version of their original concepts. The installations will be on display in Peace Plaza through mid-November.

Go the Easy Mile: Take a ride on the autonomous vehicle

Autonomous vehicles are at the forefront of the transportation and mobility conversations, including in Rochester, where this technology has been considered by many as a potential addition to public transportation as part of the Destination Medical Center and City of Rochester’s planning efforts.

The Easy Mile 12-passenger autonomous vehicle is coming to downtown Rochester on Thursday, March 22 for a public demonstration at Peace Plaza. The public is invited to take a test ride between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

A bold vision for Heart of the City

At the heart of every destination city is a vibrant downtown, where signature spaces, diverse programming, and enticing events encourage residents and visitors to linger a little longer.

In downtown Rochester, the bold vision for the true Heart of the City is coming to life as designers unveil a new future for the Destination Medical Center (DMC) sub-district where residents and visitors come together to celebrate life, community, health, and wellness 365 days a year. 

From Discover and Dream to Design and Do

The Heart of the City Design Team recently unveiled plans for the much-anticipated core of downtown. Their forward-thinking vision for this integral part of the DMC district was received with excitement and anticipation by the DMC Corporation Board of Directors, the Rochester City Council, and the community at-large as they learned of the new plans for the sub-district.

DMCC board applauds progress in DMC sub-districts

With all the activity taking place in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) District, the recent DMC Corporation Board of Directors meeting agenda was a full one and included updates on DMC’s top development priorities, such as Discovery Square and Heart of the City.

Financial update

At the end of 2016, private investment in the DMC district surpassed $200 million, the threshold required to trigger the release of State dollars to support Rochester’s infrastructure needs. It was reported at the meeting that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) certified the report and has authorized the release of $2.6 million of the state money for local infrastructure improvements by September.

“This is the reason we’ve been doing this for the past several years,” says DMCC board vice-chair R.T. Rybak. “I encourage the staff to take time to celebrate this achievement.”

Discovery Square Developments

One of six DMC sub-districts, Discovery Square will be a live-work environment organized around attracting and retaining the best and brightest to our community. While there is progress taking place in all of six sub-districts, Discovery Square is a board-identified priority for DMC, as are Heart of the City and transportation.

Ride, roll, relax: The future City Loop

Improving options for year-round transportation is key to the DMC Development Plan.

From walking and biking in the summer to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, people are looking for fun ways to get fit, stay healthy, and – as a bonus – leave their cars parked in the garage.

The future City Loop is an ideal way to safely connect residents, employees, visitors, patients, and companions to places and spaces throughout the DMC District all year long.