Ah, spring. Finally. Sunny skies. Green grass. Gentle breezes. And perhaps my favorite indication of spring… hearing the crack of the bat at Twins games. Even though the start of the 2011 season has not been what most Twins fans were hoping for, there is still something special about the new stadium, Target Field.

If you don’t already know, I am a Twins fan. A huge Twins fan. I have been since the first time my dad took me to a game when I was a little girl. And back then, going to a Twins game meant sitting inside the artificial climate of the Metrodome.

I remember listening to my dad talk about the glory days at Metropolitan Stadium (he lived less than a mile away as a kid). Double-headers, frosty malts, autographs — he could go on and on. Because my dad grew up watching outdoor baseball (and because baseball is meant to be played outdoors), the Dome was never going to be good enough. When financing for Target Field was finally approved in 2006, he began to get really, really excited. And, of course, I was right there with him.

As a design technician at KOMA, part of my job is to help develop interior designs that balance form and function, while creating the appropriate atmosphere to further a client’s brand. I believe that great design is achieved not only through one or two major elements, but also by subtly and appropriately introducing several — in some cases hundreds — of details. Which brings me back to Target Field.

You might be rolling your eyes thinking I am just another bandwagon Twinkies fan eager to tell you how wonderful Target field is. And you’d be half right… because it really is that wonderful. From the first time I stood on the plaza outside Gate 34, I found myself thinking that Target Field is a great example of how to incorporate numerous, careful details to create a thoughtfully designed whole.

From the local limestone exterior elements and nine bat-shaped topiaries, to the Met Stadium flag pole and hardwood murals in the Legend’s Club, the entire facility is inviting and entirely without pretense (much more in the spirit of Wrigley Field in Chicago than of Miller Park in Milwaukee). Quite simply, Target Field isn’t trying to be something that it’s not.

Is it perfect? Practically. I would have allocated more queuing space inside Gate 29, and I think the batter’s eye, while serving a purpose, still isn’t terribly attractive (despite changes made this season). All things considered, though, it is clear that the array of people and companies involved paid a lot of attention to detail, while designing a stadium that feels like it has always been a part of the Minneapolis skyline. All of which make me smile, as this “less is more” aesthetic corresponds to my own design sense.

Now, if only the Twins’ hitting was as effective as the stadium design…