GOLD AWARD: Hiawatha Maintenance Facility, Minneapolis, Minn.

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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