Graco Park and Building Design:
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board welcomes you to the engagement page for the Graco Park design process. This is the third round of community engagement for the park design concept.
The first round of community engagement, the project launch, occurred June-July, 2021. An archived page of the first round of community engagement and project background information can be found HERE.
The second round of community engagement, concept development, occurred Sep-Oct, 2021. An archived page of the second round of engagement can be found HERE.
Below you will find a summary of the public comments from these engagements as well as an overview of the project to date. Based on feedback from the community on the three concepts presented in the second round of engagement, a refined concept for Graco Park is presented below.
Online Survey: Thanks to everyone that provided input on the survey. Your ideas and comments have been documented and will be considered as the design for the project is refined. The survey was open December 21, 2021-January 21, 2022.
Down the road: feedback on the preferred concept will be used to refine the concept further prior to submitting the final concept for board approval. Sign up to receive email updates on the project on the MPRB project page.
Below is the anticipated project timeline and process overview. The approval of a final concept and building design is expected to occur this winter, contract bidding in the spring 2022, and construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2022.
Round 1 & 2 Engagement Summary
During the first and second rounds of engagement, MPRB heard from 100s of community members online and in person about the park design.
Round 2 Concepts Overview
The three concepts below were presented in the second round of engagement for the design of Graco Park. Community feedback on the concepts was used to develop the preferred concept.
Natural habitat within the park was identified as a high priority in both the first and second rounds of engagement. Hall’s Island was created/restored specifically for it’s habitat value and as a refuge for ground nesting birds, turtles, mussels, and other species. The extension of that natural habitat restoration into Graco Park is an opportunity to provide a more robust and dynamic natural environment that many plants and animals require to thrive. The creation of a natural resource based park
Habitat creation in the park would be supported with the intentional use of structure, human-made and natural. These structures present opportunities for the discovery of unique sculptural and interpretive elements throughout the park.
Graco Park is designed to acknowledge and celebrate the river and Hall’s Island. The design reflects patterns of the river to inform spaces and landscape types. Five main features define the park: two broad tree-lined promenades, a river walk, a flexible green, and a building/plaza zone. The southern promenade leads from the corner of Sibley and Plymouth down to a boardwalk and boat rental shelter at the water’s edge. At the river, a walk defines seating areas, habitat structures, high canopy forest, and plantings. The river walk terminates on the north portion of the site at a river gathering space and the Hall’s Island promontory that feature panoramic views of the city skyline and Hall’s Island. Leading east from the overlook, the regional trail defines the edge of the flexible green space. The building overlooks the flexible green and has two main gathering spaces surrounding it. On the north side is a performance green with seating and on the south side a plaza is defined with stormwater features, benches, a sculptural water feature, and shelter.
Preferred Concept flythrough
A flythrough of the preferred concept model is shown below. The video can also be accessed directly HERE.
A recorded presentation of the Graco Park preferred concept, including a narrated flythrough is shown below. The video can also be accessed directly HERE.
Knowing that the construction of all elements shown in the preferred concept will not be possible with the current budget, a phased construction approach will be taken. Park components highlighted in orange below are anticipated to be completed in a future construction phase.
Building Design Principles
Building Design Inspiration
As the site of a former lumberyard, the form and materiality of the building are inspired by the pitched roof storage structures and the texture of the lumber stacks once present on site.
The Graco Park building houses three distinct multi-purpose spaces: one, a large open space intended for flexible uses such as performances, fitness classes, community meetings and workshops; the second space serves as an expanded lobby with furnishing for informal gathering or independent work and includes an enclosed conference room; the third, a space designed to house MPRB’s program to introduce teens to creativity and technology. Between these spaces are several restrooms, both gender neutral and gender assigned, storage, and a front desk, which will be staffed during open hours.
The design of the building takes particular care in its impact on the environment, on macro and micro scales, selecting carbon neutral mass timber framing, optimized solar orientation, wildlife friendly glass, and providing a wood scrim that protects the building from solar heat gain in summer while allowing low winter light to warm spaces in winter. Energy saving technology includes a geothermal heat pump and photovoltaic panels on the south roof.
Entry View from Sibley and Plymouth
View toward Building Entry
View from Northwest
View of Multipurpose Space
Multipurpose Space Uses
For questions, contact MPRB Senior Planner Carrie Christensen at 612-230-6540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.