The task of redesigning Peavey Plaza draws its conceptual moves from cues of the original design by creating a recessed space geared specifically to performance. The site, located in the center of downtown Minneapolis along Nicollet Avenue, becomes the iconic urban plaza for the city. Currently the space is tired and neglected and is in need of attention. The plaza fronts on to the Minnesota Orchestra building which is currently under renovation. The new design is defined by three “rooms” that create the framework for the spatial, elevational, and functional configuration of the plaza. The first room is defined as the “upper mall room” which connects the mall and engages Peavey Plaza at its western end. This room acts as a collector of people that wish to gather along the edge of the space and observe the programmed activities within the plaza. The second room is the “performance room.” This space is dedicated to programmed activities and performances. Sunken four feet from street level, it provides a space surrounded by risers for public viewing and participation. The lower “garden room” provides options for more intimate gathering in a highly articulated garden area. Flexible seating is provided along with canopy trees and lawn areas. This space becomes the contrasting element in the design due to surrounding plantings that produce a more private experience. The major features of the design are in the “upper mall room:” a concession stand and pergola along Nicollet Mall frame the entrances and provide shaded seating locations and an allée of trees direct pedestrian flow and also provide a human scaled canopy along the western edge of the plaza. A sound garden which is activated by pedestrian movement provides a prominent gateway at 11th Street. Ramps and cascading stairs provide easy access into the performance room. A large 6,000 square foot water feature ¼” in deep defines the performance room`s floor. At the far south end, a performance wall with fountains and an LED screen capture and hold the space while providing a back drop for outdoor performances. In the winter, the area transforms into a community skating rink with music, dramatic lighting and hot chocolate. The garden room is flexible and green with tree bosques, lawn areas, and moveable seating to provide a more relaxed gathering space. The site will become the premier outdoor urban space in downtown Minneapolis.

Constructed, 2013