Location: Grand Rapids, MI
In early 2016, a multi-disciplinary team formed to create an installation for Site Lab’s Rumsey Street residency that would physically address issues of access in and access to art in a larger curated exhibit installed in an urban city block.
Presented as Hybrid Structures, the architectural intervention was a response to the long unused buildings that line the Northside of Rumsey Street which include: a deconsecrated Catholic church, rectory, school building, and convent. A series of ramps - designed to ADA standards - traversed, pierced, and connected these buildings providing an accessible and inclusive exploration of the site. New vantage and access points were created in and through the abandoned buildings as well as the surrounding site, granting visitors an opportunity to experience the larger Rumsey Street exhibit in new and extraordinary ways. During the course of Art Prize 2016, Hybrid Structures became gathering space, show space, exhibit space, artistic space, and equitable space.
The design and construction process was fluid with configurations and details changing frequently: reacting to the existing conditions exposed during a painstaking demolition process of the original buildings and the specific art installations located in the buildings and around Hybrid Structures.
Conceived as a temporary work, Hybrid Structures opened once for the three weeks 2016’s Art Prize and then once for a week in the spring of 2017 for the DisArt Festival. The project is currently being demolished with all of the building materials slated for reuse in upcoming local affordable housing projects.