Allianz Field, the new soccer-specific home for Minnesota United FC, serves as the focal point for a new mixed-use development on a 35-acre brownfield site in St. Paul, Minnesota. Team owners envisioned a beautiful and intimate stadium that rivals the best European soccer venues. The $150 million stadium boasts 19,500 seats and expands to 23,000 seats. More than 80% of fans are protected from inclement weather by a 360-degree cantilevered canopy structure that also reflects crowd noise back onto the pitch, enhancing the team's home field advantage.
To ensure success, Walter P Moore blended the skills of our national team of structural designers, enclosure experts, and steel connection and erection specialists. Our team created a structural system that seamlessly integrates the sinuous and dynamic membrane wrapper into the stadium structure, helped invent an innovative new membrane façade, and sped construction by incorporating erection sequences, piecing, and tolerances from the start of design.
The owner wanted the cladding to provide protection against the often-harsh Minnesota wind and rain while also creating a distinctive and elegant look; he envisioned cladding that is colored, backlit, and transparent enough to visually connect fans outside the stadium to the game energy within. The challenge: no existing cladding material could provide this combination of characteristics. Walter P Moore responded by collaborating with several membrane suppliers to identify appropriate materials and then work with the preferred manufacturer to develop an entirely new product that achieves the owner's vision.
Walter P Moore's material specialists collaborated with a leading producer of engineered, high-performance polymer products to refine a material already in development to ensure that it met the project's exacting requirements. Our collaboration enabled the first large-scale installation of colored, laminated PTFE in the United States.
The architect's façade concept entailed a series of undulating curves that encircle the stadium, challenging Walter P Moore's structural and enclosure engineers to rigorously manage the non-linear geometry and the construction details. Our structural solution features five large-diameter steel pipes that encircle the stadium, creating the undulations. Walter P Moore's industry-leading digital capabilities undergirded the entire project, enabling the architect to achieve the desired sinuous geometry while providing the geometric rigor needed to ensure proper compatibilities, detailing, and fit-up installation of the fabric and substructure elements. Ultimately, our model of the driver pipes was used by the steel fabricator to expedite their creation of a fabrication model, thus ensuring precision in the constructed driver pipe assemblies.