Earth, concrete, steel and context
Minnesota’s Hull Rust Mahoning Open Mine Pit, one of the largest in the world, has never stopped its expansion since the discovery of iron ore 150 years ago. The City of Hibbing, no stranger to the effects of the expanding mine, was once hailed as “The Town that Moved” in honor of its early 20th century migration. Today, this journey continues coinciding with the relocation of the Hull Rust Mine View Overlook. The new park and visitor center is a recognition of the Mesabi Iron Range’s legacy rooted in geologic and historical circumstances.
The project is nested between Hibbing and the precipice of the active mine, and acts as a focal point between these two mutually dependent entities. Perched on top of an overburden stockpile, a decades-old mass of earth removed during the mining process, the project functions as a distributed park and visitors’ center strewn about the plateau.
Phase I consists of earthworks, landscape follies, and lookouts made from precast industrial concrete units that frame both historic mining artifacts and three views - to the city, mine and across the Mesabi Iron Range.
These elements curate local and regional contexts by establishing a dialogue between the past, present and future forces shaping this industrial landscape.