Incorporating public art into new developments is not a new practice, but one developer in Minneapolis took the idea to the next level, commissioning a bright, vibrant sculpture to be a gateway into the community as well as a public amenity used everyday. Not only does the work, created by local architect and artist Marjorie Pitz, welcome residents to the community, but it is also a bus shelter located at one of the area’s busiest intersections. Duo-Gard fabricated the ‘Blossoms of Hope’ shelter, which has five 25-foot-tall, ultra-strong steel flowers sprouting through its roof.
“The steel flower stems go through the 10-sided, faceted roof, which needed to be sloped and pyramidal, so precise placement of the openings was critical,” said Kevin Kropiewnicki, speaking for the Duo-Gard engineering team. “With this 10-sided structure, we had to engineer a method to connect modular wall panels together in a cylindrical shape. Our team designed custom trim and anchoring to facilitate this.” SignMinds of Minneapolis worked with Duo-Gard, engineering and fabricating the crown and the flowers in bright colors.
The shelter is located at the 5 Points Plaza, where five streets converge in a North Minneapolis neighborhood that is ripe for revitalization. The shelter’s strength was tested not long after its construction, as a tornado tore through the area, destroying nearby buildings, but leaving the shelter with just a bit of broken glass. “It’s miraculous that the shelter survived,” Pitz said in a press release. “People took this as a sign of hope. One of the residents called it the ‘Blossoms of Hope’ and the name caught on.”