Convention Center – Minneapolis, MN

Situation:

After sixteen years the Minneapolis Convention Center was scheduled for a renovation. New seating areas, signs / graphics and colors were proposed to update the main pedestrian corridors. The live trees have been in place since the building was built but were now becoming unsightly and required constant maintenance (picking up dropped leaves. watering and cleaning). Because of the replacement and ongoing service costs of new trees it was decided to install replica trees. Plantscape, Inc / Commercial Silk Int'l was sourced to design unique feature trees for the space.

Initiatives:

Each of the four seating areas needed a major element to make the space more people friendly and reduce it's volume. We designed trees that were 20' tall by 24' in length that cantilevered over the seating, providing a somewhat private space. Because the Red Oak trees were in a public area they had to be engineered to withstand abuses by the general public. Each tree had to be designed to support a 180 lb person hanging from the tree at a point 8' from the trunk.

Results:

The trees made a major visual impact in the pedestrian area outside the exhibit halls. The seating areas are being used more and with small live plants at the base of the trees it is difficult for people attending events to realize that the large Oaks are artificial. Although the initial costs for the trees are more than live trees they will more than pay for themselves in a couple of years.


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