Minnesota is the most northerly point of the 48 conterminous U.S. states. It is bordered by Canada, Lake Superior, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota. The state is comprised of rich prairie soils left by the glacial retreat. There are trails dedicated to the terminal moraine. The site of Expo 2027 is along the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge located on the Minnesota River.
The surrounding prairie landscape around the Expo 2027 site gives rise to the metropolitan region known as the Twin Cities, comprised of Minnesota’s three largest cities, the host City of Bloomington as well as the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and surrounding suburban areas. Each city in the region is unique yet forms one large community.
Located just north of the Mall of America and connected to the South Expo site by the elevated parkway and people mover, the North Expo site rises as a landmark along an interstate highway. Hosting impactful keynote speakers, conferences and gala dinners the state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility will support participating nations, leaders, institutions and innovators. The North Expo site will also feature themed pavilions highlighting the global impacts of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well-being for All” through:
International Conference Center – A Global Forum
The anchor of the North Expo is the International Conference Center. The flexible, multi-purpose facility will be the heart of international events before, during and after the Expo. The International Conference Center is designed to be the assembly hall and idea exchange for global matters. The Conference Center will accommodate heads-of-state for international symposia. Translation assistance, multi-lingual signage, and culturally tuned services are integrated into the design of pre-function spaces, lobbies, support functions, and assembly rooms. State-of-the-industry audiovisual and communication equipment will support international conferencing capabilities.
The soaring signature forms of the International Conference Center convey a sense of innovation. The Conference Center captures the imagination and provides a place where ideas can thrive. It offers a view to the future while accommodating groups from around the world.
Themed Pavilions – Deep Dive Into Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Themed Pavilions embed the core elements and central premise of Expo 2027 – Healthy People, Healthy Planet. The Theme Pavilions offer the opportunity to fully articulate and illuminate the Expo’s sub-themes – Health and Well-being for You; Health and Well-Being for All; and Health and Well-being for the Planet. At one level, the Themed Pavilions offer the opportunity to explore the depth of each theme in a very personal way. At the same time, the Themed Pavilions are designed to have shared experiences and promote the community aspects of health and well-being. Exhibits, demonstrations, and displays will be interactive with connections to other global venues.
One of the many goals of the Themed Pavilions is to have every visitor leave with a sense of personal empowerment, to have learned and enjoyed the experience. Four key constructs weave through the story of each Pavilion – initiatives to improve global Prevention; Innovation; Equalization; and Collaboration. These constructs are a lens from which to experience all aspects of Expo 2027.
Located directly adjacent to the Mall of America and along an existing light rail
and bus line the South Expo site features the welcoming visitor experience to Expo
2027. Within the South Expo site visitors will have the opportunity to explore over a 150+ unique immersive cultural experiences through the country pavilions including showcasing the innovative partner pavilions. The host pavilion will be featured prominently within the South Expo site as the central showpiece of the Expo. The South Expo site will be supported by state-of-the-art security features, health and wellness initiatives and diverse offerings of food and beverages as well as:
People Mover/Elevated Parkway
Host Pavilion – Heart of the Expo
The iconic Host Pavilion in the heart of South Expo architecturally expresses the theme of health and well-being. Its spiraling circular form engages visitors to move and explore. The Host pavilion will serve as both the U.S. country pavilion and the primary guest services hub. It will be the place to showcase U.S. health and well being accomplishments and act as a vessel to unite visitors with a common theme of ‘Healthy People. Healthy Planet.”
The curvilinear form conveys the ribbons of streams and rivers that dominate the adjacent Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge. The height and massing provide a means of way-finding for visitors. Its biomorphic structure relates to human characteristics. The content is focused on innovation and health improvement.
International Pavilions – Vibrant Global Showcases
Participants are clustered in a series of structures that weave together elements of the site, circulation, and storytelling. Each participant has equal pavilion access to demonstrate their own health and well-being story. Collectively, these pavilions are designed as a global marketplace of ideas and cultural expression. The undulating contours of the pavilions allow opportunities for outdoor connections. The expressive movement of forms for each pavilion help reinforce the interconnectedness of a global community.
Stages – Performances for Culture & Learning
A full range of performance spaces and stages are distributed throughout the Expo 2027 District. Some of these stages are place settings for simple impromptu performances. Other stages offer full production performances. A curated set of daily performances for each of the major stages will allow for broadcast capability and special ticketing opportunities. Expo 2027 will host 93 days of performances for every type of visitor. Cultural performances, speakers, musical artists, thought leaders, and stage acts will add energy for a vibrant visitor experience.
Since opening its doors in 1992, the world-renowned and recognized Mall of America has revolutionized the shopping experienced as a leader in retail, entertainment, and attractions. Current features in existing features at the Mall of America include:
By the time of Expo 2027, planned Mall of America expansions will add:
As the waters of the Great Lakes region carve their way through the Earth’s soil in route to the world’s oceans, the water creates an interdependent set of ecosystems from the molecular level to larger more diverse systems such as towns and some of the largest cities on the planet. The host State of Minnesota, “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” will welcome its visitors from around the globe and the 2027 Expo will create a new ecosystem conceptually derived from the surrounding watersheds to creating architecture. Just as the flowing tributaries branch off to create new life, connections and experiences, so too will the visitors of the Expo. Located adjacent to the Minnesota River and Long Meadow Lake, the architecture is an abstraction of the watershed archetype. Contours and tributaries create forms and paths of circulation. Native flora and fauna will find their habit along the confluence of these trails, creating moments of exuberance, celebration, reflection, and solitude when needed.
Physical health, well-being, and cognitive function are all improved with nature connectedness. Expo 2027 will foster this human connection through the planning of the site. The Expo site provides a connection from the existing nature found along the Minnesota River to the existing Mall of America. Expo visitors will be provided with the ability to find respite and connection to nature, not only along the existing nature trail system but along the Expo 2027 paths as a journey through the development. These paths are activated with different experiences and moments as they intertwine with pavilions, stages, entertainment spaces, conference spaces and then integrate with the Mall of America and its various facilities such as a waterpark, various hotels, and an arena and exhibition center.
As water is the basis for life, people are the basis for Expo 2027. Providing an experience that focuses on human’s connection to nature and the wellness it provides, Expo 2027 will utilize new technologies to enhance this connection. Expo 2027 will provide a look at how architecture, sustainability, nature, and technology can work together to create a better future for all of life’s species and
promote the Expo 2027 theme of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet-Wellness and Well-Being for All.”
Prominent lake typology found throughout Minnesota.
Naturally occurring topography as a means to create form.
Tributaries created from bodies of water define paths of movement.
Naturally occurring watershed carves the earth away defining circulation and structure
Humans, animals, plants, ecosystems all have their own unique, multi-dimensional needs to be healthy. In terms of design, the balance that needs to be achieved is the amount of built environment suitable for humans versus the amount of natural environment needed for all other species on our planet. The Expo 2027 site design attempts to demonstrate to the world how such a delicate balance can be struck. Within one site, it is possible to balance the temperature inside of a building while maintaining an uninterrupted migratory path of the monarch butterfly. A symphony can perform for thousands using energy generated exclusively on-site as an illustration of the capacity of this plan. Building materials can be grown on site, leaving ecosystems around the world untouched. Expo 2027 is an opportunity to be a resilient example of healthy, balanced communities.
At the center of Expo 2027 is the theme of accessibility. The Host Pavilion is a testament to the notion that access to all is our focal point. Visitors will be able to access any portion of the site through gradual ramps and thoughtfully laid out trails. All available modes of transportation will have access to every entry experience and every point of connection through this curated network of circulation. The legacy of the project will be an elevated, accessible green space for all.
The success of Expo 2027 will be a catalyst for equitable and inclusive facilities for the “Expo Village” location in the South Loop development. Not only will the whole Expo 2027 experience be curated with equitable facilities, but the impression left behind will take the form of a community that is inclusive to all residents. What is currently a sea of parking, an empty space for traditional development, can mentor others to plan future developments with equitable connections, selfsufficient infrastructures and proven financial viability.
Strategies, both passive and technology-reliant, are integrated throughout the design of Expo 2027. The Expo 2027 site is designed to reverse the current trend of today’s resource-draining communities by capturing, storing, and recycling resources that naturally interact with—and are generated by - the site. Post construction, this will reduce the environmental impact of cities to net zero. Expo 2027 has the potential to go beyond reducing the adverse environmental impacts, by being a model for design that reflects natural patterns and forms. The built environment can benefit the natural environment.
Located directly adjacent to a robust transportation system, the Expo Site is supported by high quality, frequent transit services that encourage a walkable, mixed-use development that reduces dependence on vehicles. Transit-oriented developments play a vital role in advancing equity and health by establishing a people-first and place-based approach to development. Creating an environment that supports physical activity, access to healthy food options as well as other social determinants for building a healthy community such as safety, jobs and housing.
Similar to transit-oriented developments, trail-oriented developments take advantage of and leverage infrastructure that supports active ways of getting around and transforming communities from car-centric to people friendly communities by investing in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Tapping into the extensive network of safe and enticing local trails along the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the Mall of America’s Livewell walking trail, the Expo site creates a web of interconnected universal designinspired accessible trails that connect the North and South Expo sites to produce a truly active environment.
Referring to places where people spend time between home and work, third places act as community builders. They are the places that we exchange ideas, have a good time and build relationships. Placemaking provides the soul for our communities through the design of a contextual urban framework of pedestrian and bike friendly streets, open spaces and a vibrant urban environment. Placemaking instills an essence of equity to the public realm that is contextual, inclusive, adaptable and most of all community driven.
After the Expo, a human-centric integrated mixed-use innovation campus will continue to showcase the Expo’s lasting image of a forward-thinking event that will endure to galvanize the local community and region. Some of the larger buildings will remain such as the three-story buildings in the South Expo site that hosted international pavilions. The conference and exhibition spaces of the North Expo site will be adaptive reused into spaces that promote ingenuity and innovation. The smaller single-story buildings, themed pavilions and host pavilion constructed in mass timber will be disassembled and reimagined into educational facilities, cultural spaces and make way for additional open space and parkland.
Human health and habitat health are the keys to success for the public realm and technology will be employed invisibly to make this a reality and make this a place people enjoy being. Allowances have been built in for all manner of smart technology, including autonomous transportation (people mover). Energy, water, and transportation will be fully monitored, measured, manipulated, and made-evident to all inhabitants to optimize their use. Connectivity will be ubiquitous with full and free Wi-Fi coverage.
With the former Expo site as the hub, the collective Expo District will become a vibrant community of makers, entrepreneurs and creative enterprises that will serve as a catalyst for the transformation of the South Loop District. Designed around the expectations of the next generation of urban workers, the project will be anchored by a curated trade marketplace and innovation office space fully distinguished by an eclectic mix of public realm and tenant-focused amenities. The former Expo site is intended to facilitate collaboration among the best minds in the city, complemented by distinct programming within a model of a healthy community and social hub, people-first concept.
2030 Challenge promises to track and report on the energy performance of each project as a means of proving progress in achieving carbon-neutral building design by the year 2030. The commitment is that every project aims to meet this challenge. This doesn’t mean energy efficiency is the only thing we focus on. We also focus on every other aspect of sustainability (water, health of occupants, biodiversity, waste, etc.) as deemed important by our clients, but meeting the 2030 Challenge is the baseline.
At its core, mass timber addresses a growing cultural demand for sustainability, connectivity, and local authenticity. Timber construction is in the midst of a renaissance as manufacturing, design, and construction innovations inspire boundary-pushing concepts for the age-old material.
Reduced Material Waste
The pre-fabrication process generates less waste from the the virgin material and at the construction site.
Material Use & Re-use
Exposed structural mass timber components reduce the need for a layer of “architectural finishes.” Modular timber components also have the potential for direct re-use at the end of a building’s useful life.
The unique aesthetic offers market distinction attractive to young generations that value authenticity.
Connection to Place
In the North Central, timber can be locally sourced and manufactured, catering to a strong consumer demand for localism.
Health & Wellbeing
The visual presence of natural wood indoors has a calming effect, and can lower pulse rate, blood pressure, and autonomic nervous activity.
Clear market position as a positive contributor to the environment: tenants and visitors increasingly value being part of a reduced carbon footprint built from a renewable resource that serves as a carbon sink.
Each Spring, Monarch butterflies migrate north from Mexico through the United States to occupy Minnesota for its warm summer months. Driven by seasonal changes, this migration happens every year and populates the state with millions of Monarchs that thrive off Minnesota’s climate and prairies. The Expo 2027 site will protect and encourage this yearly event through its use of green spaces, specifically implementing the growth of milkweed to give generations of Monarchs a place to thrive and grow from an egg to a caterpillar and eventually into a Monarch butterfly, appropriately named Minnesota’s State Butterfly.
The Expo 2027 committee plans to follow the Green Commitment used by the Mall of America. It is a small thing to do with a big impact.
Ambient energy keeps us green. Mall of America’s comfortable 72°F is maintained through a unique zero-emissions approach: it’s heated by our 1.7 miles of skylights, store lights, and the body heat of our visitors!
60% of waste is recycled. The Mall was designed with integrated chute systems to make it easier for stores’ waste stream to be diverted to recycling efforts.
300 tons of food waste repurposed. Hog farmers use food otherwise destined for a landfill to nourish their livestock.
Re-using our lost and found to do good. All unclaimed lost-and-found items are donated to Cornerstone to provide clothing and gift items for people who’ve experienced domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking and other crimes.