Page N3.2 . 02 March 2011                     
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    Minnesota AIA Awards


    The three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home consists of 1,850 square feet (172 square meters) of finished space, and the project also included another 750 square feet (70 square meters) of storage space. In all, it was built for $360,000, including the geothermal system.

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    Adding to History

    The Winona County Historical Society has occupied the National Guard Armory (1915) in downtown Winona, Minnesota, since the early 1970s. Now, adjoining the historic building stands a new addition designed by Joan Sorrano, FAIA, of HGA Architects and Engineers (Hammel, Green and Abrahamson).

    The Laird Norton Addition to the Winona County History Center relates strongly to the armory through scale, massing, color, and the use of masonry, while contemporary detailing and finishes set them apart.

    At ground level, a corbeled, rectilinear colonnade of iron-spot Roman brick stretches from the street corner to the south wall of the armory, echoing the brick facade and deep front entry of the older building. Backed by a glazed curtain wall, the colonnade allows pedestrians to see into the new lobby while subtly directing them toward the entrance. On the second floor, an outdoor terrace separates the armory from the addition's boxy form. A sweeping, inflected facade frames a large, off-center front window, with copper cladding that visually ties the addition to the dark brown color of the armory's brick.

    The 12,400-square-foot (1,150-square-meter) addition houses a lobby, gift shop, and loading area at ground level, along with lower-level artifact storage and a second-floor multipurpose room. The exposed, now-interior portion of the armory's south wall serves as a visual link among new and old spaces.

    Border Crossing

    In remote northern Minnesota, just south of the Canadian border at the eastern edge of Manitoba, a new U.S. Land Port of Entry stands just off Highway 313 north of the town of Warroad. The building's dark forms stretch low across the landscape, accentuating the horizon line in the vast open space. The design achieves the imposing austerity one might expect from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, while also conferring some degree of warmth.

    Julie Snow Architects arranged the Warroad Port of Entry in a T-shaped plan, with each bar-shaped volume slightly bent to facilitate both the surveying of the site by officers and intuitive circulation by visitors. Cedar siding clads the entire 40,100-square-foot (3,730-square-meter) facility, evoking the "north woods" identity of the region. The exterior siding is finished in a black stain, with contrasting expanses of natural-stained cedar and glass defining the vehicular inspection areas and public spaces.

    The program encompasses vehicle circulation, inspection, and holding, and federal officers' work and training. Life-cycle cost analysis was used to ensure long-term cost and energy reductions, and the project is expected to receive LEED Silver certification. Its sustainable design strategies include geothermal heating and cooling, rainwater capture, and daylighting.

    The building was recently named the recipient of a 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award.

    Renewed Church

    For a decade, the White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church had occupied an abandoned 1950s Methodist church on a wetland in Mahtomedi, Minnesota. But the congregation felt the building was a poor fit, with its bland, cramped social hall, institutional corridors that became congested at peak times, and a hierarchical seating arrangement in the sanctuary. Church members sought more daylighting, improved aesthetics and functionality, and a structure to better reflect their world view.

    Locus Architecture designed a renovation and expansion that doubled the size of the facility. The most prominent addition is the new meeting hall, for worship: a large box, clad in weathering steel, that extends at an angle from the north side of the building. Inside the hall, angled walls create an irregular trapezoidal plan, within which the seating is arranged in a tight semicircle. The space is defined by Douglas fir cladding and leafy views through window walls to the east and west.

    A glass-enclosed gallery connects the new meeting hall, offices, and entry with the original building, which was renovated to accommodate social and ancillary functions. Seeking to correct a deficiency in the existing building, the architects created "eddies" in the circulation zones to facilitate impromptu conversations.

    Environmental Education

    The new Bagley Outdoor Classroom, an instructional building at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Bagley Nature Area in Duluth, embodies a deep environmental ethic: the structure has been certified LEED Platinum (under LEED-NC v2.2) and is seeking Passive House certification.

    The small classroom building is located on a hill above a pond at the 55-acre (22-hectare) nature area. The university asked for the building to be an overall energy producer rather than consumer, despite the cold northern climate in Duluth.

    Following Passive House guidelines, Salmela Architect designed the building to be super-insulated and virtually airtight (0.47 air changes per hour). The 1,995-square-foot (185-square-meter) structure is heated primarily by direct passive solar gain from the south and from internal heat gain from equipment and occupants. The building is oriented facing directly south to maximize both winter solar gain and photovoltaic power production, and to relate to the pond.

    The space is cooled by deciduous trees and wood sunshade slats, and by a sensor-activated natural ventilation system that takes advantage of the stack effect created by the lower operable windows and high louvers. In addition, a heat-recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply.

    The highly insulated envelope's average exterior R-values are 71.7 for the walls, 49.3 for the floor slab, and 80.0 for the roof. Other green features and strategies include daylighting; triple-pane windows; FSC-certified wood products; composting toilets; a planted roof; and recycled-content, regionally harvested, and salvaged building materials.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Inside the Hodus-Brogan House, varied ceiling heights and material finishes help to differentiate space within a large shared living, dining, and kitchen space.
    Photo: Scott Ervin Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The wooden exterior of the Hodus-Brogan House also encloses a large deck area.
    Photo: Geoffrey Warner Extra Large Image

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    The Laird Norton Addition expands the Winona County History Center in Winona, Minnesota, beyond the historic National Guard Armory building.
    Photo: © Paul Crosby Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    In the Laird Norton Addition, a double-height entry hall separates the original building from a cluster of new programmatic elements.
    Photo: © Paul Crosby Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Longitudinal, transverse, and detail section drawings of the Laird Norton Addition, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers.
    Image: HGA Extra Large Image

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    A large interior window visually connects an upper-floor space to the addition's entry hall.
    Photo: © Paul Crosby Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    A new U.S. Land Port of Entry facility for the United States-Canada border crossing near Warroad, Minnesota, was designed by Julie Snow Architects.
    Photo: © Paul Crosby Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Warm-toned wood and extensive glazing were used in public areas of the Warroad Port of Entry in an effort to make the building more inviting.
    Photo: © Paul Crosby Extra Large Image


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