Chs Field

CompanySnow Kreilich Architects
Lead DesignerSnow Kreilich Architects, Ryan A+E & AECOM
Design TeamDesign Architect: Snow Kreilich Architects Architect of Record: Ryan A+E Sports Architect: AECOM
PrizeArchitectural Design / Recreational Architecture

CHS Field is conceived first as a park and public space, and then as a sports venue. Working with the City of Saint Paul and the St. Paul Saints, an independent league franchise committed to providing a unique fan experience, the 7,000 seat ballpark is slipped into a remnant site between a highway, an elevated bridge, a light rail operations facility and the historic Lowertown District on the edge of the City’s business district. The ballpark sought to change historic design discourse beyond the compatibility or differentiation debate to a more critical assessment of contextual relationships, needs and opportunities. The sleek low ballpark offers powerful views to the surrounding historic structures. The entry plaza frames Fifth Street to the historic Saint Paul Hotel, while the city skyline animates the view from grass berm seating in the outfield. The ballpark materials, wood steel and masonry, refer to the robust timber and iron structures of the warehouse interiors. The porosity, lightness, and openness of the ballpark architecture adjacent to the district’s massive warehouses create a memorable contrast. The material palette is restrained, using wood on the underside of the canopy and suite level, combined with dark steel and masonry. The design’s restraint becomes a foil and framework for the energetic promotions and events for which the ballclub is well known. The ballpark operates as a public space, offering social engagement within the civic and district identity. A street level concourse surrounds the field and seating bowl. Spaces adjoining the concourse offer social opportunities, sometimes programmed, for example, with the Ballpark Barber or Sister Rosalind’s chair massage station, and sometimes left for casual encounters. The identity of the ballpark is closely aligned with a sense of place, connecting the ballpark experience with the district and the City skyline through the porosity of structure.