Four design teams to begin work on Nicollet Mall transformation ideas
Four finalists have been named in a competition to redesign and reconstruct Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The design teams selected will spend the summer drafting concepts that will provide the City with multiple visions for the mall, which hasn’t had a major reconstruction since the late 1980s. A final team will be chosen in September and may be hired by the City to develop a final concept design for redesigning and revitalizing this pedestrian and transit mall to better serve the city, the metro area and the state.
The Nicollet Mall Design Competition is a partnership with the City and the Minneapolis Downtown Council. The purpose: develop a new vision and concept design for the mall to ensure it remains the leading center for business in the metro area and Minnesota and helps spur growth for decades. The mall hasn’t been rebuilt in more than a quarter century, and the need for maintenance and repairs has increased. Years of heavy bus traffic on Nicollet Mall has caused extensive wear and tear on the roadway, and the granite-paved sidewalks are also in need of replacement. Through the design competition, the City with have multiple visions on how to rebuild the mall from building face to building face, and how different urban design teams approach the challenge of redesigning it.
A total of 21 urban design teams submitted their qualifications to the City. From that, the field was reduced to the four finalists:
James Corner Field Operations with Coen+Partnes and Julie Snow Architects
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Greenberg Consultants
Tom Leader Studio with !melk and Bruce Mau Design
All four teams are comprised of current leaders in urban design who are experienced and capable of producing excellent urban places and destinations. The teams will be charged with creating designs that achieve the following objectives:
Elevate Nicollet Mall, the Global image of Minneapolis, and attract international acclaim for great urban design
Transform Nicollet Mall into a pedestrian friendly destination seven days a week and all year round
Create a “Nicollet Corridor” by strengthening connections “from the River to the Lakes” and to all of Minneapolis
Attract investment, businesses, and residents and revitalize all of downtown
Reinforce Minneapolis’s high standards for design, arts, and culture
Reflect Minneapolis’s shared values and appreciation of nature, water, ecology, and the environment
On July 2, the four teams will be issued a design brief and request for proposals. They will then have eight weeks to complete and submit their design visions for Nicollet Mall and a proposal for full design services. Each team will receive a stipend of $30,000 to defray some of the costs of participating in this process.
The four concepts will be revealed in September, and a final team will then be selected. That team may be hired by the City to develop a final concept design. Also, once a final design team is selected, there will be a robust public conversation about what Nicollet Mall means to Minneapolitans and how this vibrant area can be re-visioned in an urban, modern and dynamic way. The public conversation will help to guide the selected design team as they develop a detailed design for a new Nicollet Mall that will truly be a source of pride for the city and state.
More information is available at www.minneapolismn.gov/nicolletmall.
Published Jun. 28, 2013