Nicollet Mall design contest kicks off


Nicollet Mall stretches 12 blocks through the heart of downtown Minneapolis.

Four teams will receive instructions from the city of Minneapolis today in a competition to redesign Nicollet Mall.

The four teams are comprised of 10 different architecture and design firms. Only two of the companies are based in Minneapolis; the rest hail from as far as Copenhagen, Montreal and Berkeley, California.

The teams will work over the summer to formulate their ideas for the Nicollet Mall redesign. The city will name a winner in September and expects to hire that team to come up with the final design. City officials said the process will include hearing input from the public.

Nicollet Mall had its last major reconstruction in the late 1980s. Since then, buses have beat up the street, and the granite sidewalks need replacing. City officials want to be able to run street cars along the mall, and they want the corridor to be pedestrian friendly year-round.

The city says the right design could win Nicollet Mall international acclaim, as well as attract businesses and investment to downtown Minneapolis.

Here’s our previous coverage on what local design experts are saying about Nicollet Mall’s potential.

The teams are listed below with links to their fancy websites.

Team 1: Daoust Lestage (Montreal)

Team 2: James Corner Field Operations (New York and London), Coen+Partners (Minneapolis) and Julie Snow Architects (Minneapolis)

Team 3: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (Brooklyn, N.Y. and Cambridge, Mass.), Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, New York and Beijing) and Greenberg Consultants (Toronto)

Team 4: Tom Leader Studio (Berkeley, Calif.), !melk (New York) and Bruce Mau Design (Toronto and New York)