Working with legendary Minneapolis performance venue First Avenue, SHoP designed the Upper Harbor Terminal Amphitheater to be a new landmark for its neighborhood.

The goal of the project is to create a community-centered space that celebrates the musical traditions of Minneapolis. The design centers on “the Gantry,” a steel structure that raises the majority of the 6,000 fixed seats above one end of a new 2.3-acre park, recreating the intimate performance experience of First Avenue while preserving the entire site for public use. The Gantry takes inspiration from existing industrial artifacts found on the site, while also creating a distinct landmark for the new Upper Harbor Terminal neighborhood on the Mississippi riverfront.

The geometry and proportions of the Gantry, as well as a new structure for outdoor box seating and the stage itself, are optimized to ensure clear views and excellent acoustics from the elevated seats as well as throughout the expansive lawn area. To create a true four-season venue, the stage itself can be enclosed and transformed into a smaller performance space during the cold-weather months.