A new design for the aging Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis incorporates everything from a 20-foot water wall to flexible performance spaces.
Tom Oslund, who is the principal of oslund.and.associates
, a local landscape architecture firm that took into consideration all kinds of public feedback in coming up with the design, says it modernizes the plaza.
The existing plaza, which notable landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg
designed in 1974, doesn't meet modern accessibility requirements. Also, too much water goes down the drain--literally--and the plaza lacks an efficient stormwater management plan, Oslund says.
More broadly, the plaza has evolved into a hub for outdoor performances over the past several decades. "There's a shortage of infrastructure to hold more sophisticated performances."
Additionally, the way the plaza recesses below-grade has posed numerous safety concerns.
The new design divides the plaza into several "rooms," at different elevations, including a street-level area and garden and performance space, all of which are accessible via a ramp.
It features a couple of pools with dancing fountains, a shady pergola, a sound garden, and green spaces, according to project information.
Seating can be configured according to the use, with shallow pools that can be turned off to make room for 1,500 chairs.
A video screen that a video artist will help program will broadcast Orchestra Hall
Although the $8-$10 million project depends on fundraising, the ideal timeline is to have it reopen with the $50 million reconstruction of the adjacent Orchestra Hall. At this point, the groundbreaking is planned for the spring of 2012.
He says that while change is hard for some people, the design has been well received.
"I think the new design is reflective of how 21st-century space should be articulated," he says. "There's a significant program component to it and a significant sustainable strategy," including economically.
Source: Tom Oslund, principal, oslund.and.associates
Writer: Anna Pratt