What do the new Saint Paul Saints Stadium, the Chaska Curling & Event Center and the Xcel Energy Midtown Substation all have in common? They are among the honored recipients of the Finance and Commerce Top Projects of 2015. The annual awards are doled out to construction projects completed in the given year across the state.
The Midtown Substation, which sits in the heart of busy south Minneapolis, came together as the result of community collaboration, unique design and an artistic touch. The substation, built to meet growing electricity demand, is in a highly visible area at Portland and Oakland Avenues next to the popular bike, pedestrian and park-like trailway known as the Midtown Greenway.
To make the substation a better fit aesthetically, Xcel Energy worked with architectural firm Alliiance to create the final enclosure. Metal mesh panels create a partially transparent view of the substation interior while also bringing the illusion of movement. At night, additional color is added through the use of LED lighting. Ornamental walls sit at the base of the substation to further blend with surroundings.
The Midtown Substation was built in conjunction with the Hiawatha West Substation, which includes a similar enclosure as well as more than a mile of new underground transmission line. The Hiawatha West Substation has also received awards for innovative design.
The next time you’re zipping down the Midtown Greenway, make sure to pull your bike over and check it out.