The new stadium for the Minnesota United features a dynamic, undulating, and curving façade that wraps the entire building. Walter P Moore provided enclosure engineering for this signature architectural component integrated with the primary structural frame engineering.
The stadium will be wrapped in a laminated, woven PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) material and is the first large-scale installation of this product in North America. The translucent, laminated PTFE will protect fans from the elements while still allowing a view into the stadium from the exterior. At night, the skin will be back-lit in variable colors to create a one-of-a-kind canvas for the stadium. Walter P Moore worked with product manufacturers in the development of the new material in order to meet project requirements.
The building skin is supported and shaped by large diameter, curved pipe sections called "driver pipes." These sections are combined into undulating circles which surround the entire stadium and create the unique geometry of the skin. To meet project budget requirements, it was critical to create this dynamic façade from a series of simple components. In collaboration with the architect, Walter P Moore developed a digital work flow allowing the multiple iterations of the driver pipe geometry and analysis. The driver pipe geometry was varied so that the fabric could span between pipes without exceeding the fabric's capacity and without costly backup steel, while still creating a dynamic, undulating geometry.
The Walter P Moore team fully designed and detailed all the driver pipe connections to control both the architectural aesthetics and to avoid interfering with the laminated PTFE. Integrating enclosure engineering with the stadium structural engineering allowed us to create a incredibly elegant and cost effective structural system.