Wedgepoint Apartments

Organization Name: SWBR

Project Title: Wedgepoint Apartments

Project Location: Rochester, NY

Project Goals:
• Designed with social equity in mind, Wedgepoint achieves a healthy density through maximizing social, economic and cultural interactions.
• All-inclusive design process – While still in concept phase, the design team engaged with the developer, the Business Association of the South Wedge (BASWA) and the South Wedge Planning Committee (SWPC) by having working sessions to discuss the design intent and lay the framework for and inclusive design process.
• Create a safe place that is open and inviting.
• The Architecture should serve as a vibrant gateway to the South Wedge Neighborhood
• Provide workforce housing for persons who are employed in the downtown area that will be both affordable and within walking distance.
• Enhance the strategic revitalization efforts of the South Wedge neighborhood

Project Description:
Wedgepoint Apartments is a 60 unit affordable housing project in the South Wedge Neighborhood of Rochester N.Y. The design team engaged with the developer and neighborhood committees by having working sessions to discuss the framework for an inclusive design process. It was important to all that this project not be closed off from the neighborhood. The main residential entry is framed by a bridge on the 3rd and 4th level that connects the two buildings. The bridge allowed an exterior connection to the courtyard at the ground level. Walk up units on the first floor line the courtyard and provide security for the children on the playground as well as a pleasant view. An outdoor terrace on the 4th level provides planters for a resident food grow program. The terrace faces south with a strong visual connection to the courtyard below and grander views of the South Wedge Neighborhood in the distance. These design moves are meant to create positive social interactions.

Community Impact:
Economic Development – The commercial space provides jobs to area residents and services to tenants in the building and the community. This space has commercial tenants that cater to un-met community needs; Neighborhood Revitalization – The property has been vacant for over 10 years. It was taken by the City of Rochester through tax foreclosure and sold to the current owner. Prior to demolition the site housed one of the most notorious properties in the City – a partially vacant motel that had become a magnet for criminal activity. It was a vacant eyesore on a critical intersection between three major linkages into the downtown area and surrounding City neighborhoods; Affordable Housing – It meets the need for mixed-income housing in a strong mixed-income neighborhood that was recently designated a National Historic District. WedgePoint is at the entrance to the South Wedge Neighborhood, one of Rochester’s most culturally and economically diverse communities just blocks from downtown.

Organization Description:
SWBR is a multidisciplinary, award-winning design firm headquartered in Rochester, New York. As a highly respected national firm consistently providing leadership, expertise, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking the firm specializes in sustainability, education, housing and workplace design. With offices in Rochester and Syracuse SWBR aims to positively impact lives through meaningful design.

    East Façade of Building ‘B’ terminating at entry

    The Bridge between buildings marks the main entry

    Buildings frame the active private courtyard

    Terrace with food grow planter boxes

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