Heart of the City

Project Description

Heart of the City is in the core of Rochester, Minnesota: two city blocks situated between the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. This space invites residents and Mayo visitors to immerse themselves in a community sky-viewing experience, bringing together two populations in more meaningful interaction. In support of this theme, a large, data-driven art piece changes colors when miracles occur at the clinic: purple for a birth and yellow for an all-clear for cancer. This reveals just a small piece of the magic that occurs daily at the clinic, and the result is a compelling public space that is uniquely Rochester.

Latent Design worked with a team lead by Coen + Partners to design unique benches and movable platforms for the spaces that take into account physical distancing and universal design principles. Phase One was completed in 2021 and won the 2023 ASLA | Award of Excellence | Urban Design.

Photos @JasperLazor

Project Details

Rochester, MN
130,000 SF
Rochester DMC


Coen + Partners, El Dorado, RSP, Kimley-Horn, Fluidity


  • 2023 ASLA | Award of Excellence | Urban Design

Project Gallery

Plaza releases fog intermittenly throughout the day
The new public plaza becomes a gathering space for residents, visitors, and patients to experience fresh air, rest, art, and community
Fabricated benches and lush trees line protect the sidewalk from the adjacent street
Poetry-embossed brick pavers seamlessly transition across a scrim pool at the center of the plaza
The scrim pool reads seamlessly across the plaza
At the heart of every signature city is a vibrant downtown, where one-of-a-kind spaces, diverse programming, and enticing events encourage residents and visitors to linger a little longer.