Page N3.3. 02 March 2011                     
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    Minnesota AIA Awards


    Library in Texas

    For the Lochwood Branch of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library, architect Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. created a daylit public building on a site between a strip mall, a cluster of apartments, and a single-family residential neighborhood, while also integrating an existing former YMCA gymnasium into the new structure.

    The architects helped place the 20,000-square-foot (1,900-square-meter) library in its context by carefully controlling the views from within. On the building's east side, a canted, zinc-clad form directs patrons' views through a high bank of windows to the tree canopy and sky above the shopping center.

    In the library's children's area on the south side, facing the apartments, a row of low windows directs attention to the foreground landscape. Large windows on the north side of the building transmit daylight while allowing views, screened through trees, of the single-family residential neighborhood

    The former YMCA gym space was adapted into a black-box theater, its solid form providing a contrast to the zinc and glass of the new volumes.

    The library is LEED-registered (under LEED-NC v2.2), with a Silver rating targeted. Its sustainable design features and strategies include natural ventilation, onsite stormwater management, and a highly efficient envelope and HVAC systems. FKP Architects. served as associate architect.

    Houses in Minneapolis and Minnetonka

    Along with the Hodus-Brogan House, two other single-family homes received honor awards from AIA Minnesota.

    For a corner lot in Minneapolis, clients Andrew Blauvelt and C. Scott Winter sought a home that was simple, inexpensive, open, and airy. Julie Snow Architects conceived of the Blauvelt-Winter House as a progression of defined volumes, from the public front yard to the two-story portion of the home, followed by the tall volume of the living area, and then the enclosed garden and garage.

    A concrete wall — with a four-inch (ten-centimeter) core of insulation, and cast-in-place concrete finish inside and out — encloses the perimeter of the private spaces at grade. Brazilian walnut at the upper floor contrasts with the concrete, and throughout the house, large openings of glass are proportioned with asymmetrical sliding glass.

    In Minnetonka, Minnesota, Stuart and Alexandrine Harris sought an industrial-modern-style residence to complement and contrast with their wooded home site. Altus Architecture + Design arranged the Harris home in an L-shaped plan around an existing tamarack tree.

    To provide a durable, no-maintenance exterior, the architects chose charcoal-burnished concrete block for the base. The upper level consists of two pavilions, containing the bedroom wing over the living area, and a play space over the garage, respectively. These two forms are clad in fiber-cement panels in ochre and light gray, in contrast to the darker base.

    On the main level, clear, full-height anodized-aluminum storefront windows offer views out over the site. On the upper level, clerestory windows transmit daylight while maintaining privacy for the bathrooms and bedrooms.

    The 4,000-square-foot (370-square-meter) home was completed for $140 per square foot ($1,510 per square meter), including landscape.

    Collegiate Arts by HGA

    Three collegiate arts projects designed by HGA received awards from AIA Minnesota. Two of them are expanded, consolidated arts complexes for community colleges in California: the Visual and Performing Arts Village at Cabrillo College in Aptos, and the School of Visual, Performing and Communication Arts at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.

    The third project — the Uptown Performance & Visual Arts Campus at Columbus State University's RiverPark campus in Columbus, Georgia — involved the adaptive reuse of industrial structures along the Chattahoochee River. A 50,000-square-foot (4,600-square-meter) former cotton warehouse from the 1970s now houses visual arts studios within its high bays, while part of the building, near the river, was demolished, making way for new theater venues. Stevens & Wilkinson Stang & Newdow, Inc. served as architect of record.

    Specs for a Facade

    Specs Optical is located on a busy commercial street in Minneapolis, but the shop's owners were concerned that new city landscaping was obscuring the facade. Since sign code limitations prevented the use of signage that would be visible behind the trees and bushes, Alchemy designed an eye-catching partial wrapper of translucent polycarbonate for the century-old brick building.

    The inexpensive CNC-cut, three-layer greenhouse polycarbonate forms a self-supporting structure of distorted, offset frames around the existing windows, making reference both optics and frames. A strip of laser-cut aluminum boxes wraps the corner, holding signage and lighting, and at night, hidden, colored LED spotlights illuminate the facade.

    AIA Minnesota conferred its 2010 Honor Awards on November 19, 2010.

    The awards jury included Richard Gluckman, FAIA, Gluckman Mayner Architects, New York, New York; Brian MacKay-Lyons, Hon. FAIA, Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; and Sarah Graham, FAIA, agps.architecture, Los Angeles, California.   >>>


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    Locus Architecture designed a major renovation and expansion of a former Methodist church building for the White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota.
    Photo: Pete Sieger Photography Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    As a part of the White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church expansion, a new worship space was built.
    Photo: Pete Sieger Photography Extra Large Image

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    White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church floor plan drawing.
    Image: Locus Architecture

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    The LEED Platinum-certified Bagley Outdoor Classroom is an educational space at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Bagley Nature Area.
    Photo: Paul Crosby Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Floor-plan and site-plan drawings of Bagley Outdoor Classroom, designed by Salmela Architect.
    Image: Salmela Architect Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Bagley Outdoor Classroom section and elevation drawings.
    Image: Salmela Architect Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle designed the new, zinc-clad Lochwood Branch Library in Dallas, Texas, with FKP Architects as associate architect.
    Photo: Charles Davis Smith Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Most of the public functions of the Lochwood Branch Library are contained within a single rectangular volume. Variations in ceiling height, flooring, and wall color combine to suggest greater spatial diversity.
    Photo: Charles Davis Smith Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Floor-plan drawing of the Dallas Public Library Lochwood Branch.
    Image: Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Windows in the Lochwood Branch Library were carefully placed to minimize views of several adjacent buildings.
    Photo: Charles Davis Smith Extra Large Image


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