Feeling like showing love to a couple of second loves of mine: Minneapolis and architecture. I got a degree in the latter at the University of Minnesota so when the Vikings revealed the designs for the new stadium taking the place of the Metrodome (a stadium I've been to many a time), I was eager to see what they did. Impressed is an understatement.
The $975 million dollar stadium, designed by HKS Architects, features the "largest transparent roof in the world" that opens to the downtown Minneapolis skyline. Think of it as a retractable window, as you can see above. I can already imagine the breathtaking blimp views looking outside, in to see a faint Adrian Peterson touchdown in the distance.
HKS not only made some bold decisions with the "transparent roof" but also with the stadium's many pointed forms. My only critique is with the jagged top point, but only from certain angles, namely the north and south. It doesn't bother me to a point that I think it should be removed. It otherwise looks pretty amazing, and is one of the stadium's many distinct features.
The fan experience will be taken into account as "Vikings fans will be closer to the field than any other stadium in the country." You can tell from some of the interior renderings that the top couple of decks hover a little closer in than normally. I've always had that in mind if I were to one day help design a stadium. Glad to see it well thought out, and seemingly well-excuted here.
Finally, to drive it all home, watch the official "Fly Through" of the stadium to really experience the retractable roof, the stadium inside and out, and its relation to Minneapolis (designing "Fly Throughs" in high school was the best.) I can't state enough how much I love the relationship between the playing field, the transparency, and the skyline. Vikings, and Gophers fans, (the peeks at the baseball configuration look equally nice) are going to be elated come 2016.
All photos and video courtesy of Vikings.com (more photos there)