DNA

An Urban Infill Building

Washington Square District, Rochester, New York
250 South Development

Winner of 2010 AIA Rochester Design Excellence Award

On the south end of Washington Square, adjacent to Rochester's Central Business District, lies an emerging residential neighborhood consisting of century-old warehouses in various stages of redevelopment. Located among these brick structures is a small underutilized plot of land.

The primary goal for our client is to develop a mixed-use, mixed-rate infill building that includes the ingredients (or "DNA") of an active urban building. The transect, or "vertical zoning" of the building program includes the following: below-grade garage parking, a grade-level restaurant with a south facing plaza, second floor office space, third floor extended-stay hotel rooms for the local theater's traveling actors, fourth floor affordable housing, fifth floor market-rate housing, and sixth floor penthouse living units.

DNA, an acronym for "Downtown Neighborhood Activator," is a microcosm of what we believe could be happening on a macro scale throughout the Center City. The key components are a mix of uses, a mix of rental rates, and high-density development in a centralized walkable urban neighborhood. This type of building 'DNA' will help stimulate the public realm and be inclusive to a broader cross-section of the community.

The building relates to the adjacent warehouse aesthetic with its brick masonry facade and large, punched window openings. By engaging the buildings on South Avenue and the one set back from the street, DNA turns the corner, stitching the street wall together, and bridging the old and new with a more contemporary treatment along its south façade. The wedge-shaped footprint, strategically angled to preserve the adjacent building's views to the Genesee River, opens up the site to allow for the plaza.