Call Detail

Public Art for New Downtown Mixed Use Parking Garage

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: North Carolina
Entry Deadline: 10/19/17
Application Closed
Media Images:10

Public art is one of the guiding design principles for this project, and permanent art is defined by the City’s “Resolution Establishing A Public Art Policy” as:
i. Original visual art including, but not limited to, sculptures, murals, photographic renderings, mosaics, lighting and electronic art installations installed on a permanent basis in spaces which are visible from public streets and pedestrian walkways, free of any admission fee, through a public process providing opportunities for community input. 

The objective of this RFQ is to identify up to five (5) candidates with the qualifications to participate in a finalist selection round (referred to as “Finalists”). 

Background/ Scope of Services
The City of Durham, North Carolina, is seeking Candidates with experience in creating public art that fosters a unique sense of place to design, fabricate, and install permanent public art piece(s) to be displayed on the New Downtown Mixed-Use Parking Garage Project.
The mixed-use garage will be located along West Morgan Street between North Mangum Street and Rigsbee Avenue.   The project represents a significant capital improvement and will cost approximately $23M. The project is being designed by the architectural firm Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.  Construction of the garage will begin in October of 2017 and is expected to be completed in January of 2019. For additional information and renderings of the new mixed-use garage, please visit: 

Durham’s History: 
A booming city in North Carolina’s thriving Research Triangle, Durham began in 1864 as a small rail depot village.  Tobacco drove the early economic development of Durham; the distinctive voice of the Piedmont Blues music grew to entertain workers, and the largest black-owned insurance company in the country opened its headquarters on Parrish Street in 1906.  Drawing on its rich and diverse history, Durham has reimagined and repurposed its earlier tobacco and textile warehouses and prominent landmarks to create a vibrant downtown. Since 2000, the city has experienced exponential growth with a total of $1.3 billion in investments.    For more information about Durham please visit:

Exterior Rendering Looking SEExterior Rendering Looking Southeast 

Exterior Rendering Looking SWExterior Rendering Looking Southwest

Potential Site Opportunities    
1. Gateway Opportunity 
The first opportunity for an art installation at the new mixed-use parking garage will be at the North East corner of the facade at North Mangum and West Morgan Street.  This installation should be iconic and reinforce this view as a gateway into downtown. The building cladding proposed is a metal screening system.  It will be comprised of a painted architectural panel system and a painted sub-frame system fastened to the cast-in-place concrete structure.  The architectural panels will be perforated with a 20% opening and oriented vertically.  The dimensional area rendered in terra cotta is approximately 40’ H x 70’ W (2800 SF), but the piece need not encompass the entire area as long as it is in scale for this prominent corner. The metal panel cladding material costs illustrated in terra cotta are INCLUDED in the project budget.  The public art piece may be additive or dissolve this proposed cladding system, but the cladding coverage is still subject to 100 SF maximum allowable openings by Design District Standards

2. Pedestrian Friendly and Visually Inviting 
A second opportunity for an art installation will be along the Southern facade in the location of the stretched fabric banners on the top three floors and or landscape screens at the lower level illustrated above.  This installation should reinforce a pedestrian friendly streetscape and provide visual interest for adjacent businesses and condominium/apartment owners opposite the parking structure in the back alley. 

The banners are approximately 21.25’ W x 50’ long (1063 SF) and there are nine banners of equal size proposed. 

The fabric banners and landscape screens illustrated are INCLUDED in the project budget.  The public art piece may be additive or dissolve this proposed cladding system, but the cladding coverage is still subject to 100 SF maximum allowable openings by Design District Standards. 

Candidates must be professional artists or designers as stated in your resume eligible to work in the United States and age 18 or older. Candidates are eligible regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability. 

Scopes of Work 
The services which will be required from the Finalists during the selection process are, but are not necessarily limited to:
• visiting the site 
• meeting with project stakeholders
• interviewing with the Selection Committee 
• submitting a final design concept

The City of Durham will commission the Finalist with the best qualifications (referred to as “Awardee”) to design, fabricate, and install the public art piece(s) for the mixed-use garage. We anticipate for the contract to start in the fall of 2017 and terminate upon the completion of the project. The services which will be required from the Awardee during the contract are, but are not necessarily limited to:
• Collaborating with the City on the final design 
• Leading an engagement process to raise awareness of the resulting piece within the community
• Overseeing the installation of the public art piece(s) on the mixed-use garage.
• Devising a maintenance schedule to ensure the proper conservation of the piece 

The City of Durham will invest up to $100,000 in this project for public art.  The Public Art budget will be prioritized with the “Gateway” location as primary. 

Tentative Project Schedule
Issue date: September 7, 2017
Submittal deadline: October 19, 2017
Finalist selection: October-November 2017
Finalist interviews: November 2017
Artist selection: December 2017
Community engagement and concept development: December 2017
Concept and design development approval: February 2018
Fabrication and installation: February 2018 – December 2018
Project Completion: January 2019

Submission Requirements
1. Statement of interest: narrative outlining your qualifications and interest in this project. 

2. Work samples: visual representations of past artwork that demonstrate your qualifications for this project. In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must upload a total of 10 images that represent no more than 5 previously completed projects. Each sample should have an accompanying summary of the title, location, cost, materials/media, and timeline associated with that piece 

3. Project personnel résumé: résumés for each artist/artist team member

4. References:  Each artist should provide three (3) current professional references or recommendation letters with contact information for each reference

Selection Process and Evaluation Criteria 
1. Staff will preview applications for completeness and may reject an incomplete application or non-responsive submissions. 
2. A Selection Committee (which may include staff from, the Transportation Department, General Services, the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, the project Architect, volunteers from the Durham Public Art Committee, visual art/design professionals, and other community members) will review and evaluate Candidates’ applications based on criteria that may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Aesthetic excellence of past projects 
  • Experience, success, and/or interest in community engagement in the process of creating public artwork
  • Proven track record of using the materials and methods appropriate for this project 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects with similar budgets on time and on budget

3. The Selection Committee will invite up to five (5) Finalists to Durham, North Carolina during November 2017 to view the site, meet community stakeholders, interview with Selection Committee members, and submit a design sketch
4. After the interviews, Selection Committee will recommend a Finalist’s design to the City for approval. This Awardee will be invited to contract with the City for the commission of this work. 

Non-Contact Provision
Candidates and Finalists are prohibited from contacting any City official or employee during the course of the application period, interview process, or other processes of this solicitation, except to submit questions via the City’s designated project manager. Any such contact shall be grounds for disqualification of any Candidate who may have initiated such contact.

Rights and Disclaimers
The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals. The City reserves the right (i) to negotiate changes of any nature with any Finalist or Awardee with respect to discrepancies between the designs selected for the contract and the art that will be commissioned by the City, and (ii) to enter into an agreement for some or all of the work with one or more Candidates that do not submit proposals. Although Candidates should make their best faith effort to comply with the requirements outlined in this call for artists, the City may, in its discretion, waive-noncompliance. The evaluation criteria are intended to be used to make a recommendation to the entity or person within the City authorized to award the contract.  That entity or person is not bound to use these criteria or to award on the basis of the recommendation. The City reserves the right to change the criteria and to otherwise vary from this procedure as it determines to be in the City’s interest. Unless the artist indicates otherwise, all of the materials submitted to qualify for this opportunity will be discarded after the conclusion of this solicitation. Under the terms of the contract, the Awardee will agree to allow the City to incorporate the design and installation it has commissioned into the City’s permanent art collection. 

This RFQ provides complete information on the project, services being sought, the submittal requirements, project budget, and selection timeline. The most recent RFQ may be

Submittals must be received by 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

If you have questions after reading the complete RFQ, please direct them to the project manager:

Henri Prosperi, Project Management Team Leader; City of Durham General Services Department

919.560.4197 x21253

In order to receive a response prior to the submittal deadline, questions relating to this RFQ email or call the project manager no later than 5:00 PM EST, on Thursday, October 5th

This RFQ does not obligate the City to pay any cost incurred by respondents in the preparation and submission of a response. Furthermore, the RFQ does not obligate the City to accept or contract for any expressed or implied services. The City of Durham reserves the right to reject any and all submittals. The City of Durham is committed to a program of equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, nationality or disability.

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