Featured as a Finance & Commerce Top Project of 2015, the Xcel Energy Midtown Substation enclosure was built around the substation in Minneapolis as a solution to integrate it into and compliment its residential surroundings. When the decision to install the substation in response to energy demands met resistance from the local community, the Advisory Work Group and Alliance architects were excited by the potential of the project being seen as a landmark within the neighborhood. As a result, the 262-lineal-foot enclosure was made of eight-foot-high wooden slats that obscure the site, maintaining the appeal of a picket fence, and a 20-foot screen of three-tone extruded metal mesh.
““It has shifting translucency depending on the lighting conditions,” said Nina Ebbighausen, senior associate, Alliiance. “Sometimes you can see through the wall and sometimes you can’t.” At night, it’s illuminated with LED lights. A precast concrete building with a graphically textured facade anchors the site’s southeast corner.
Samuels said that one of the challenges was aligning engineering requirements with community expectations. They had to ensure that the artistic elements wouldn’t adversely impact substation operations. “That was incorporated into the design process,” he said. “We feel that we’ve been able to design something that is unique and provides that aesthetic component that the community was looking for.”” – Finance & Commerce
Xcel Energy and Alliance Architects worked with MG McGrath to achieve the unique aesthetic exterior for Xcel’s two newly installed substations in South Minneapolis. At the Xcel Energy Midtown Substation, MG McGrath furnished and installed 9,000 square feet of custom-fabricated expanded aluminum mesh over the steel, angled structure. The aluminum mesh is gold in color with a custom anodized finish.
About MG McGrath, Inc.
MG McGrath, Inc. was founded in 1985 and has become an award-winning leader in the architectural surfaces industry. Performing work in the 48 contiguous United States, we specialize in the design, fabrication and installation of many custom architectural products and systems for industrial and commercial buildings. These include metal wall panel systems, HPL panel systems, terra cotta panel systems, perforated cladding systems, ornamental sculptures and art pieces, as well as custom patina finishes on various metal substrates such as copper, zinc, bronze and steel. Our 100,000-square-foot custom manufacturing facility features the latest equipment, tools, and technology to provide our customers with unprecedented creative solutions and master craftsmanship for the most complex architectural designs.