In true collaboration, Snow Kreilich Architects, Ryan Architecture + Engineering and AECOM worked together with the entire client team to design this unique ballpark which is embedded into the City.
CHS Field creates a new and dramatic culmination to Downtown Saint Paul’s 5th Street, which runs from the Cathedral, to the Xcel Arena, to Rice Park, to Mears Park, and now to the ballpark. This connects St. Paul’s vibrant Lowertown arts district of 19th century warehouses to the natural amenities of riverfront parks and trails. With just 7,000 seats, the ballpark is conceived first as a park, a green space in the city and not a building. Entering off Broadway, at street level, the concourse becomes a vibrant 360 degree walkway allowing patrons to navigate around the entire field. Concourse amenities are pushed back into the hillside while the seating bowl and playing field are depressed into the natural topography of the site. This minimizes the effect of the structures and preserves the rich visual connection to the surrounding warehouse district. The suites, club and press box float above the concourse on a light steel frame. The underside of this structure is clad in a continuous soffit of western red cedar. The design strategy is evocative of the timber and steel of the surrounding building’s interiors yet provides a light and porous counterpoint to the weight and mass of the surrounding warehouses.
The neighborhood’s cultural identity is built on the creativity of the artists, its diversity, its social energy built on its events, restaurants, farmers market and active public places. The energy and creativity erupts in some of the tucked away corners of the district. Similarly the ballpark is conceived to appeal to a diverse population and the social experience during a game is enhanced by providing open seating opportunities in the park, including an art courtyard behind home plate, outdoor terraces at the suite level, a drink rail in right field, berm seating and park space in left field, and a large terrace off of Broadway.
The ballpark will be the home of the St. Paul Saints, a leader in reinventing sports entertainments. The Saints are known for their off the wall, creative, maverick, and irreverent humor emanating from their mantra: “Fun is Good.” Hamline University will likewise call the park home, and the City, who owns the park, will host a number of cultural events. It is anticipated that the ballpark will attract 450,000 visitors a year.
From brownfield to ball field; what was once one of the ten most contaminated sites in the Twin Cities, is now a park within a park consisting of 135 trees, 138,000 square feet of natural grass, a dog park, a children’s play area, and a rain garden featuring local artwork.
Designed to be the greenest ballpark in America, much of what is sustainable is invisible, such as a 27,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system will provide 25% of the irrigation needs, St. Paul’s District Energy which is run with bio-fuels will heat and cool most of the interiors of the ballpark, the former Gillette warehouse was 95% recycled in crushed gravel for the building and field base or reused in the retaining walls and pier foundations, finally the most visible sustainable piece a 100kWh solar array will provide 15% of the ballparks electrical needs.