This project is a special opportunity to memorialize the important manufacturing efforts that took place at the site for approximately 80 years. The James Cunningham name was revered all over the world as makers of high-quality transportation vehicles, from coaches and carriages to airplanes. The repurposing of this building understands and respects the past, but also connects and is relevant to its future use.
The design is a renovation of vacant four-story building, plus a partial basement in this City of Rochester industrial building, which is turning into 68 affordable and special-needs apartment units in combinations of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom rental apartments.
The conceptual design approach is to create an entryway that will begin to express the materiality of both the carriage and the airplane. The entry wall defines the building entry but also creates an artistic expression of the legacy of the James Cunningham Carriage Factory. This is created by perforations in the 100-foot entry wall that start from the very exterior tip, with many perforations, reflecting conceptual airplane construction. As the wall moves into the lobby, the amount of perforations is reduced to represent carriage construction. The wall will be a gallery, with photographs and artifacts of the legacy of the James Cunningham Company.
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