The Xcel Energy Plaza is a redesign of an existing plaza at the corporate utility’s headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. Coen + Partners’ site plan seeks to create a flexible and contemporary outdoor space for downtown Minneapolis, while encompassing a variety of programs, including outdoor concerts and an annual fundraising event. The presence of a large electrical substation underneath the plaza—powering the electrical grid for all of downtown Minneapolis– demands innovative and careful design solutions.
The site strategy maximizes exposure of the plaza to Nicollet Mall and Fifth Street, while working with tight security requirements and restrictions brought on by the existence of the substation. A material palette of steel, copper, granite, concrete, native birch trees and prairie grasses ties the plaza to its surroundings by reflecting the site’s underground layering while also presenting a soft and inviting facade to the public, encouraging heavy daily use.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Collaboration: RSP Architects, Richer Metal
Photography: Paul Crosby
COEN + PARTNERS WINS THE 2015 SMITHSONIAN COOPER-HEWITT NATIONAL DESIGN AWARD
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