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New DECC Arena

I think that the new DECC Arena is uglier than the original. What architectural style is it in? Looks like ‘Early American Trailer’ to me. Too bad something so big and so expensive is so ugly.

24 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

"What architectural style is it in?" Really? How about arena style? What were you expecting, neoclassical?

vicarious

about 9 years ago

Agreed. It's "Arena: circa 1986." What's with the cheapo beige siding and the even cheaper-looking and tacky reflective/mirrored stuff?

Lundgren -  designers/architects are actually taught to place a "style" into a "format." Thus, "arena style," is a non-sequitur. Yes, it is shaped like an arena, but its facade could have been a bit more modern. Or creative. Or neo-classical. Or Vulcan. Anything but Fridley City Hall in the Year 1982.

The thing is ugly.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

I've never thought I'd say this but ... they should paint it to match the aquarium.

Fan of Ham

about 9 years ago

Duluthians will complain about nearly anything.

mac

about 9 years ago

Fan of Ham,

Balmora is just mad that he/she will have to pay to see hockey games inside the arena.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

I guess I'd like to see an example of what a beautiful arena looks like.



Xcel Energy Center?



Target Center?



Would you have preferred a dome?



Is this really that bad?

Fan of Ham

about 9 years ago

And it's LEED certified! (Energy Efficient and conforming to a certain degree of sustainable construction methods).  We've got a trendy "green" building here.

Erin

about 9 years ago

I know it's not very great to look at from the outside, but I've seen what's inside, and it's going to be a fantastic arena for hockey, concerts, and other events to be brought to Duluth. Concert promoters are usually intrigued by new venues, so this could bring better acts to the DECC. Also, there will be more seats than the older one, so more people will have a chance to experience Bulldog Hockey against the Gophers, Badgers, or other big rivals. I'm practically counting the days until the hockey opener against North Dakota.

Zac Bentz

about 9 years ago

"Too bad something so big and so expensive is so ugly."

I feel the same way about cars and fat people.

tony d

about 9 years ago

No. Paul, it isn't all that bad, and I'm betting it's a finally outfitted arena on the inside, but like every other building project in Duluth, the final look fails to match the architect's sketch.

I include this on my personal list of "Unfortunate 'modern' architecture in Duluth since 1960s Urban Renewal" (feel free to help me add to the list!):

Duluth Public Library
Radisson Hotel
The now abandoned KDLH studios
Ordean Building
Gateway Tower
Lennox Tower
Great Lakes Aquarium
...and that ugly little motel they just plopped down near Cub -- looks like an annex to the aquarium!

Adam

about 9 years ago

Hockey. Your tax dollars at work.

Adam

about 9 years ago

True that, Tony. The Ordean Building is a great example of that hideous 1960s & 70s anti-riot architecture.

Elden

about 9 years ago

Well, it isn't like it is covering up the architectural masterpiece that is the DECC. That tiered wedding cake entry was a bad idea from the start. I mean the parking garage improved the aesthetic of the whole area, so the bar was pretty low.

I have heard the term "The ice cube" bandied about for the large reflective glass box on the corner. That doesn't necessarily make it more attractive, but at least it gives us something to relate to, and thus makes it slightly more endearing.

Arenas are ugly because we try to enclose the largest amount of space with the least amount of money. We blow a small flurry of cash on a "feature" at the entrance, and cover the rest with tan metal siding. You can't blame the architect for that.

I have to say it is FAR better than the all too prevalent pole-barn aesthetic like the Vineyard Church on Arrowhead Road. Try to picture that turd in place of the current arena and you will feel quite a bit better.

In the end, and as an architect, I am indifferent about it. It isn't fabulous, but it could have been much worse. I say, "not bad," and I don't even like hockey.

Gary

about 9 years ago

I think it looks like when you have a stick of hard butter and everyone is trying to cut off a thin slice of it from a different side.  The end result is something like a rhombus crashing into a trapezoid.

Shane

about 9 years ago

Do you mean to tell me that metal covered pole barns are not aesthetic? A large building for a low cost is usually the big motivating factor in ugly buildings.

Barrett Chase

about 9 years ago

Gary's description actually makes it sound kind of awesome.

Ms. L. Lee

about 9 years ago

I am not gonna lie. The new DECC is not a pure beauty. But, any way you slice it, the new construct offers a welcome visual distraction from the wedding cake-like/white hot mess that is the existing DECC. Hmm. Maybe a nice thick layer of butter-cream frosting would pull all the discordant geometric shapes together...

TimK

about 9 years ago

Just be glad it's not Eastern European Soviet era construction -- all concrete block.

thedoog

about 9 years ago

This seems like a good thread to point out what's lacking in the old arena.  I went to the Walking with Dinosaurs show over the weekend (awesome btw) and was kind of dismayed that they still don't have railings for the steep upper balcony seats as well as no foot lighting.  It was of course only lite with moody pre show light, which I'm fine with, but without proper foot lighting it's really dangerous. I saw a number of elderly needing assistance and also had concerns with people holding children. Not sure what codes are for arena situations but I know that you can't have a 3-foot-high porch in town without railings.  I'm surprised that a bunch of drunkin 'puck heads' haven't wiped out a whole row of people when exiting.  I spend a lot of time on ladders and those stairs gave me vertigo.   I've seen really cool railings that have led lights built right into the bottom of the lower railings. If our asses have got too big regionally to fit a middle railing take out a row of seats. Three points of contact people!

tony d

about 9 years ago

Funny how more than one of us here have referred to the DECC's architecture as resembling a wedding cake. I believe the original intent was that it is supposed to look like part of an ore boat, as is the library. These two examples prove to me that 1,000-foot cargo vessels are not great models for modern architecture. Lesson learned?

Elden

about 9 years ago

Tony d,
Don't forget the IMAX, also inspired by an ore boat. I once heard a local architect proclaim that he was tired of out-of-town architects coming in and designing buildings that look like ore ships. I have to agree.

Gunns

about 9 years ago

It doesn't help that they've left a lot of the exterior unfinished for so long but I would have to agree that it's pretty ugly, from railroad street side anyway. The skywalk from the ramp to the arena literally looks like they hoisted a double wide trailer up there.  Truthfully though, I don't give a shit what it looks like on the outside, I only care that it's functional and profitable for the city.

Hendo

about 9 years ago

As far as other buildings around town go, I really don't think the Ordean building is all that bad compared to the Gateway Tower/Radisson. That cement reminds of the former East German apartment I stayed at in Berlin, Ugly. The new area isn't as weird as the aquarium (which is ugly and not that interesting inside either) and on the inside it is actually pretty sweet. Oh, and the Duluth Public Library reminds me of a bus depot or something. Not that bad, but the inside looks like Kmart, stuck in the early 1990s. Wish UMD's library was just the city's.

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