A Not So Private Sky by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle - CODAworx

A Not So Private Sky by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

Client: City of Rochester, Minnesota

Location: Rochester, MN, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team

Project Team

Coen+Partners, RSP Architects, HR&A Advisors, and Kimley-Horn


Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle


El Dorado


Vector Custom Fabricating

Structural Engineering

Goodfriend Magruder Structure

Construction and Site Preparation



Hawk and Sons Steel Erectors

Metal Finishing

Bucthel Metal Finishing


Electrolytic, LLC

Featured Image

Sahar Coston-Hardy/Esto Photographics, Inc


Comprising two city blocks situated between the world-renowned Mayo Clinic and thriving with numerous hotels, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, the Heart of the City Project seeks to create a vibrant, world-class urban downtown that reflects and amplifies the true character of Rochester, Minnesota.

A Not So Private Sky is one of four artworks commissioned for the project as part of the Peace Plaza redevelopment. Together the artworks create a range of sensory experiences underfoot and above, turning the plaza into a fully immersive experience that allows visitors to find new ways to interact with each other in this shared public space.

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s artwork is a 26 ft tall stack of polished stainless steel dodecahedrons, which represent the shape of carbon atoms: the platonic solids that are the basis of earth, air, water, and life within the universe. The sculpture invites passersby to pause and gaze at the sky, forcing them to alter the way one usually moves through the city.

Taking into account the ethos and the function of the space, the commissioned artwork negotiates a balance between a contemplative and healing atmosphere that reverberates from the clinic, and a vibrant public space that celebrates downtown life, making it uniquely Rochester.


The Heart of the City project was conceived to provide an inviting pedestrian-friendly zone with a wealth of opportunities for people to gather and otherwise interact with each other and the urban environment. A unique interactive art-rich plaza centers the commissioned artwork and is at the core of the project.

The artworks chosen are both physically and conceptually site-specific. They respond to the unique surroundings of the plaza that juxtapose the quiet healing energy of the Mayo clinic and the dynamic spirit of the busy city, asking visitors to slow down and notice each other.

A Not So Private Sky invites residents and Mayo visitors to pause and let themselves be immersed in a community sky-viewing experience, which brings together the two often distant populations of Rochester. The site becomes a space for discovery, contemplation, healing, and community building, which are at the foundation of the Heart of the City Project, which seeks to create a vibrant, world-class urban downtown that reflects and amplifies the true character of Rochester.


This project is a collaboration with Coen+Partners, RSP Architects, HR&A Advisors, and Kimley-Horn & Associates to discover, dream, design, and implement a holistic strategy for the Heart of the City.

Vector Custom Fabricating was brought on board to fabricate A Not So Private Sky, the first artwork completed as part of the project, signaling its official beginning to the residents of Rochester.

Our collaborative approach to fabrication allowed us to work with Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle and the other stakeholders from the early stages of conceiving the artwork to its installation and subsequent unveiling. This collaboration was further enriched through working closely with the artist and our frequent fabrication partners Buchtel Metal Finishing, Electrolytic LLC, and Goodfriend Magruder Structure.