We learned a lot from the community members, artists, architects, engineers, and business leaders that participated in the community design event. They told us we need to:
1. Pay attention to different scales and pace of interactions (interstate-speed, human-scale).
2. Let the site and topography guide placement- need to know scale, soils, water flow.
3. Maximize solar production for the community benefit.
4. Make it financially buildable on the funding timeframe (by end of year) by looking at simpler solar structures now and then look at how to augment the site/solar into the future.
5. Create welcoming space with art/paths/plants/activity and a “selfie spot” if possible, but recognize that the highway and industrial vista provides barriers to wanting to spend time there.
6. Develop opportunities to interpret the neighborhood, community history, energy/STEM, and cultural representations.
7. Take into consideration nighttime and winter when designing.
8. Think about the opportunity to make the site iconic for the community.
Our concept design would provide 40 KW on six pole mounts. . The solar would face the interstate (south J) and would be structurally engineered to allow mounting of laser cut metal screens that can be backlit at night. The lighting would provide interest from the interstate as it gently illuminates a path and plantings. To fully appreciate the art and cascading “DULUTH” sign, one would need to take the Cross City Trail or local road (Superior Street) into the Lincoln Park neighborhood. This concept will allow us to use some “off the shelf” structure for the solar component with local structural augmentation for the art. We would also be able to phase the design and implementation of the art components so we can partner more directly with the Duluth Public Arts Commission and the Indigenous Commission.
***Please note that the graphic representation is not complete, as we have more limited graphic design and technical skills. The concept drawings mainly illustrate the solar on the site to help us move forward with the geotechnical analysis and base array design. Other aspects of paths, gardens, sculpture, etc. will be added as we move forward (with more community input).
What do you think?