August 23 2013

Minneapolis’ Collision of Monumental Architecture and Environmental Concerns

Although for the past decade Minnesotans have debated building a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, it was not until footage went viral of the Metrodome Stadium roof collapse during a 2010 winter storm that national attention was given to Minneapolis’ desire for a new sports facility. This wish was granted on March 1st, 2012 with Governor Mark Dayton’s approval of a new stadium on the current Metrodome property.

View of the current Metrodome from Washington Avenue in Minneapolis, MN

While the 2013 proposal for the stadium has been issued, the subject of environmental concerns weighs heavy for many urban planners. Among the concerns are:

  • Contaminated soil from previous industrial activity;
  • Risks to migrating birds because of high glass content; and
  • High congestion among public transportation.

The committee promises a LEED-certified building by reusing materials from the current Metrodome, a design that allows for a mass amount of lighting to decrease the need for heating and cooling, and operating techniques that make the new proposal more energy efficient than the current stadium. However, the question still remains of how sustainable can a building be that takes $975 million to complete?

Rendering of new Minnesota Vikings Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

There is no doubt that the NFL and venues such as the Metrodome bring great revenue to the city. But in a time where money is extremely limited and our environmental conscious grows larger, our actions to build such monumental infrastructure in the city must be thoroughly questioned. For a project that is set to provide space for 65,000, we must ask ourselves: what will become of these types of spaces in the future?

What other environmental factors should be considered when building the new stadium in Minneapolis? What should be taken into account when building monumental architecture in the city?

Images by Abbey Seitz. Renderings from Data linked to sources.

Abbey Seitz

Abbey Seitz is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Design of Art in Architecture and minor in Sustainability Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Growing up in a small suburb of St Paul, Minnesota, she knew no different than cold snowy winters filled with snowball fights and summers spent swimming in one of Minnesota’s many lakes. It was there that she gained an interest for the urban environment. This interest brought her to study in Chicago, Honolulu, and now Minneapolis, where she has honed her studies; how we can design and repair our cities to be environmentally sustainable and livable. Specifically in Minneapolis, she is intrigued in investigating how livable communities can be created through complete streets, public transportation, and urban agriculture.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 9:12 am and is filed under Architecture, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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