The new 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 beige painted ceiling vault, all blend to reinforce the design aesthetic of the renovated Boulevard. Excessive ornamentation on the columns replaced by cast resin light tubes enhance the austere elegance and ambient luminosity within the promenade. Up lit end walls dematerialize the limits of the space.
The West Boulevard construction project required enormous orchestration and cooperation between the Mall of America staff, Retail Tenants, and Contractor as it had to remain fully operational during business hours. Over 80 tenants remained open during this extensive renovation effort. High quality standards for materials and construction detailing were required to achieve the desired function and aesthetic, as well as Mall of America’s elevated expectations for a finished public environment for its West Boulevard Retail Tenants.
Following the course of Mall of America’s expansive and on-going renovation of its public promenades, preceded by South Avenue, South East Court, and East Boulevard, the West Boulevard had fallen far behind with its dark, dated and over-decorated environmental identity. Maintaining retail tenants is as important as attracting new ones, and the West Boulevard existing tenants were anxious to see an equivalent positive, yet distinctive transformation of their sector. Indeed, their newly renovated, vibrant, and light-filled marketplace attracts shoppers to explore this dynamic merchant arcade.