To create a unique form within the skyline of Minneapolis and at the same time, create a scale and diversity of building components that merged into the street walls of the neighborhood—became the goal of the client, neighborhood and the design team.
The role of tall buildings within the context of the city continues to evolve, with an increased emphasis placed on urban design and the impact of these buildings on neighbors. When Mic Johnson embarked on the design of Target Plaza South, the 1,200,000-square-foot second phase of Target Corporation’s urban headquarters campus, he led the design team to focus on the context and create solutions that would enhance the public realm of Nicollet Mall–the primary pedestrian street of downtown Minneapolis.
Issues of material reflectivity and density, floorplate size and building height were considered in the context of the broader community. Human scale and connection to the history and existing fabric of the street influenced the design of the building’s base. The 3-story podium responds to the scale and material qualities of the facing buildings with Mankato-Kasota stone and Indiana limestone, while maintaining scale and proportion that are responsive to neighboring buildings while providing visual variety and interest. Rather than a singular sculpted object that could be found in any urban context, Target Plaza South is uniquely reflective of its place within the neighborhood.
This complex has rejuvenated the south end of Nicollet Mall. Target has brought nearly 6,000 employees to a block that was nearly empty. Retail frontages along the street serve this large population; neighboring businesses have benefitted as well. The project team’s vision was to make the south end of Nicollet Mall a better place to live, work and play—thereby creating a more sustainable urban environment. The finished project successfully realizes this vision.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 1,200,000 square feet
Completion date: 2002
Architect of Record: Ellerbe Becket
Mic Johnson was Design Principal for Target Plaza South while with Ellerbe Becket.