The Triple Five Group commissioned Gabellini Sheppard Associates to renovate the Mall of America, the largest shopping center in the United States. The goal of the renovation was to modernize the mall, enhance the retail concourses, and improve the visitor experience overall. Gabellini Sheppard designed all four concourses as well as the southeast extension.
The West Boulevard at Mall of America is conceived as a vibrant marketplace with a central skylight, carved along the entire length of the existing, corrugated-metal, barrel-vaulted roof. This emphasizes the unique spatial volume of West Boulevard, recalling the industrial grandness of historic train stations. New glass and metal railings, backlit gridded glass block along pedestrian bridges, and rhythmic celebration of the existing roof trusses, now accented in white against a neutral ceiling vault, all blend to reinforce the design aesthetic of the renovated Boulevard. Excessive ornamentation on the columns replaced by cast resin light tubes enhances the austere elegance and ambient luminosity within the promenade. Up-lit end walls dematerialize the limits of the space.
SoHo East envelops visitors within an exciting environment inspired by the industrial-scaled loft spaces and artistic culture of NYC’s SoHo neighborhood. Accents of illumination—with ceiling bays painted in graduating intensities of neutral grays, and pedestrian bridges illuminated with backlit, overlapping, light-diffusing acrylic panels—and the dynamic effect of the striped flooring pattern.
The South Avenue is an archetypal galleria, similar in scale to the great retail arcades of Europe. South Avenue is characterized by spatial clarity, a strong sense of place, and a refreshing new environment filled with light and crystal.
The Southeast Extension is designed as an elegant destination space within Mall of America, a cascade of activity animated by architectural frames of light and material. The cascade begins at the upper retail levels of the Southeast Court and flows into the Southeast Extension main ground level, slipping further into the lower retail level. Concentric framing concepts reverberate within the spaces, first through the alternating polished and matte porcelain tile flooring, and also with stepped ceiling coves outlined by ambient light frames.
Photography by Brian Droege, Don Wong, and Paul Warchol.