SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Partners have envisioned a new public gateway for the Mississippi River’s “one true waterfall” – St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis. Named after being the city’s original site for its 19th-century water supply and fire-fighting pumping stations, “Water Works” is designed to “weave” together heritage ruins, local ecology, and recreational systems into a “coherent civic space” on four-acres of Central Riverfront.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism has produced a new report examining urban health in eight of the USA’s largest cities, which has been translated into a collection of meaningful findings for architects, designers, and urban planners. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a statistic which is projected to grow to 70% by 2050 – the report hinges around the theory that “massive urbanization can negatively affect human and environmental health in unique ways” and that, in many cases, these affects can be addressed by architects and designers by the way we create within and build upon our cities.
SCAPE and Rogers Marvel have been unanimously selected from 27 international applicants to create a schematic design for one of the most visited destinations on the Mississippi River: Water Works in downtown Minneapolis. The SCAPE-Roger Marvel Team, which also includes New York-based James Lima Planning + Design and Minneapolis-based SRF Consulting, will be responsible for transforming the historically significant Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, within which the Water Works district exists, with a master plan based on a series of “visionary” parks and trails.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has selected the finalist teams in the eleventh annual ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Graduate-level student teams representing Harvard University, Yale University, a joint team from Ball State University and Purdue University, as well as another join team from Kansas State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Kansas are all advancing to the final round of competition, scheduled to take place in March and April. This year’s finalists were charged with proposing a long-term development plan for downtown Minneapolis that creates value for property owners, city residents, and the greater Twin Cities region.
A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team; and each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $10,000. This year, applications were submitted from 158 teams representing 70 universities in the United States and Canada, with 790 students participating in total.
Enthusiasm for water and energy data collection for commercial and residential buildings has been growing strong across the U.S. in major cities such as Austin, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. It’s no surprise to learn that Earth-friendly Seattle is ahead of the game when it comes to tracking its buildings; reports show that the city is receiving data for a whopping 87% of its commercial and multi-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet, which totals to 1,160 individual properties covering over 200 million square feet of the city.
But that’s not all. New cities are hopping on the data collection bandwagon, most recently Minneapolis – the first city in the Midwest to adopt rules for energy benchmarking and disclosure. Other cities who already have a green reputation, such as Boston, are upping their game to adopt this beneficial practice in an effort to create even healthier and more prosperous urban conditions. With the President himself expressing support for cutting energy use by constructing more energy efficient buildings at last week’s State of the Union address, water and energy data collection is finally receiving the attention and consideration it deserves.
More on tracking building energy use after the break…
Serving as the foremost resting place for Minnesota’s distinguished citizens, the Lakewood Garden Mausoleum, designed by HGA, is a treasured landmark and community asset in the city’s neighborhood. The video above captures its pastoral quality and embraces the landscape while offering a contemplative interior experience. It also highlights the design’s relationship between natural light and nature, which strengthens the connection between the spiritual and the earth-bound.
Peter VonDeLinde, Marc Ofsthun, and Christian Korab, an architectural film studio team based out of Minneapolis, recently created an amazing short film on Frank Gehry‘s newly expanded Weisman Art Museum. Gehry’s 11,000 sq.ft. expansion showcases his sculptural talent featuring its stainless steel facade curving out from the entrance. This video was produced in conjunction with the Weisman featured in the January/February 2012 issue of Architecture Minnesota magazine.
EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company, and Knutson Construction were recently selected by Hennepin County for their design for ‘The Interchange’ in Downtown Minneapolis. The design-build contract for the $79.3 million transportation hub, which is expected to be completed by 2014, will connect transit with culture. Led by architect Peter Cavaluzzi FAIA, the multidisciplinary team envisions a state-of-the-art transit station with complementary mixed-used development and year-round activated public space. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board of Directors (BOD) selected Minneapolis based firm VJAA for the 2012 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The internationally recognized design firm was noted for their “research into material innovations and digital practice tools.”
“VJAA creates a place and purpose-specific architecture founded on broad societal, technological, and artistic values. Their work eloquently demonstrates the creative possibilities of joining environmental innovation, material exploration, and a thoughtful and economical response to site and program,” stated Andrea Leers, FAIA, of 2007 Firm Award recipient Leers Weinzapfel Associates in her recommendation letter.
The AIA highlighted VJAA’s Charles Hostler Student Center in Beirut, Lebanon and Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life at Tulane University in New Orleans. Leers continues to describe, “In an era frequently characterized by architectural indulgence and excess, VJAA is creating architecture of refinement and restraint.”
Along with AIA Gold Medal winner Steven Holl, VJAA will also be awarded in May at the 2012 AIA National Convention in Washington, D.C.
Historically, rivers have served as the ecological and commercial backbones of the communities that boarder them. With the deindustrialization of American cities, these lifelines have been unclaimed for civic use. They lay cluttered; remnants of their past serve as barriers to their potential re-use. This proposal by StossLU seeks to claim the Mississippi River and envision its transformation into park space as a spectacle in its own right within the city of Minneapolis.
This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to the city stars fall on. With a few notable exceptions, one can hardly be called a starchitect if s/he hasn’t designed something in Minneapolis. Since 2005 the starchitects that have fallen on this “City of Lakes” include Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Mueron, César Pelli, Michael Graves, Steven Holl, and Frank Gehry. This is a surprising number for a city just north of 380,000 people. Few cities of this size could boast as much. What’s more our list of 12 is far from complete. There are many wonderful historic and contemporary buildings mixed in with the explosion of starchitecture. Please leave comments of buildings one should not miss when visiting Minneapolis.
Architecture City Guide: Minneapolis list and corresponding map after the break!
The renovation of a neglected 1960’s food distribution center on the edge of downtown Minneapolis into a gleaming new headquarters for the creative innovators at KNOCK Inc. is both a fresh and welcomed presence on the underrated stretch of Glenwood Avenue just west of International Market Square. The project’s inventiveness lies in the sustainable transformation of a potential “tear down” structure into a high performance building.
Architects: Julie Snow Architects, Inc.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Design Principal: Matthew Kreilich, AIA, LEED AP
Project Manager/Designer: Pauv Thouk
Project Team: Tamara Wibowo
Client: KNOCK Inc.
Project Area: 10,000 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Paul Crosby