GOLD AWARD: Hiawatha Maintenance Facility, Minneapolis, Minn.

Fully glazed garage doors and windows maximize daylight in the maintenance bay. In-floor heating throughout the shop area saves energy, contributing to the project’s LEED Platinum rating. Photos: Paul Crosby
November 08, 2011

Minneapolis Public Works has been located along Hiawatha Avenue and 26th Street since 1914. Over the years, 18 buildings, including the original warehouse and garage and some ramshackle sheds, were scattered on 10 acres directly across from a politically active residential neighborhood and within sight of a major thoroughfare to downtown. The site was a loud, smelly eyesore.

The Building Team, led by local firm RSP Architects (with structural engineer Palanisami and Associates, ME engineer Paulson & Clark Engineering, and general contractor Knutson Construction) redefined the entire site. Creative new uses for historic elements—metal beams, old switchboards, crane rails, even pieces of a demolished bridge—found their way into the final work. New construction added needed space without inflating the mass of the original structure. A circulation spine of clear glass curtain wall now brings natural light deep into the facility. The building displays bold gestures and industrial materials on the side facing the highway, yet respects the scale and cadence of its residential neighbors via the historic brick structure.


Hiawatha Maintenance Facility, Minneapolis, Minn.
Structural Steel: MacSteel
Overhead Door Aluminum: Haas
Structural Deck: Vulcraft-Nucor
Corrugated Metal: CMI Inc.
Lockers: The Locker Guy
Precast Concrete: FabCon
Aluminum Storefront Curtainwall: Old Castle
Ready-mix: Cemstone
Hollow Core Planks: Molin
Remix P/6473 Carpet: Milliken
Windows DH: Pella
Aluminum Storefront Entrances and Doors: Old Castle
Light Gauge Metal Items: Clarkwestern
Louvera: Nystrom
Linoleum: Forbo
Metal Stairs: Lapeyer
Una-Clad: C Firestone
VCT Tile: Daltile
Thermal Batt Insulation: Owens Corning
Insulation: Johns Manville
Gypcrete Green 2000: Maxxom
Alucobond: Alcan
Modular Carpet: Lee's Carpet
Gypsum Board: National Gypsum
Flagpoles: Poletech
Vinyle Tile: Daltile
Gymspum Board: USG
Vinyl Tile: Daltile
Tread Riser: Nora
Rubber Base: Roppe
Rubber Tiles: Nora
Translucent Panel: Kalwall
Misc. Metal Shapes: Nucor
Structural Steel Joists: Vulcraft-Nucor
Overhead Steel Doors: DoorLink

The result—33,000 sf of office space, a 28,000-sf maintenance bay, and 20,500 sf of storage—is, according to the designers, purposely not precious. Rather, it is a “tough facility” designed to maximize efficient, responsive work, employee comfort, and sustainability. It is the first city-owned facility in Minneapolis and the first such public works maintenance facility in the country to reach LEED Platinum status.

“They did a standup job of preserving the building’s function,” said Reconstruction Awards Judge Tom Brooks. BD+C


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