Lines of Flight, Human

Lines of Flight, Human is a large scale architectural facade design for the new Public Service Building at City Hall Plaza in Minneapolis. One of two projects commissioned by the City of Minneapolis for this new ten-story building, this custom-designed pattern extends along 150’-0” of the building’s second floor and 400’-0” of a public skyway bridge that connects to the county office building across the street. The facade is intended to meet bird-safe standards for high-rise glass curtain walls, while also providing a dynamic and engaging experience for both people within the public circulation space of the second floor and pedestrians on the street level.

The project, a companion piece with Lines of Flight, Avian on the building’s tenth floor, is inspired by the migration patterns of humans to the state of Minnesota. The pattern spatializes demographic data as a series of nested loops that weave over and under one another to create an interconnected network of lines across the facade. Each loop corresponds to a different constituent population of Minnesota and serves as a kind of timeline, mapping the history of that respective population’s migration to the state. The variable dash pattern of each loop intensifies in density and lineweight to indicate moments of greater migration. The resulting pattern produces multiple readings at multiple scales: as a bold super-graphic from the street, and as an intricate, lacy pattern for the thousands of people who will walk through the space each day. This project was commissioned by the City of Minneapolis after a national selection process. Futures North worked closely with the building architects Henning Larsen and MSR Design to coordinate the pattern with the curtain wall design. The project is currently in fabrication; the building is scheduled to open in fall 2020.

Project Credits:
Design Team: Adam Marcus, Molly Reichert, John Kim, Daniel Dean, Pete Pham
Building Design: Henning Larsen Architects, MSR Design
Client: City of Minneapolis