Unusual Architecture + [USA]

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Stati Uniti d'America: [SWEDISH INSTITUTE’S NELSON CULTURAL CENTER BY HGA]
HGA

The American Swedish Institute, a museum and cultural center with an international reputation on historic Park Avenue in the heart of South Minneapolis, today unveiled designs for the Nelson Cultural Center, a building to be constructed adjacent to the iconic Turnblad Mansion to accommodate growing programs and audiences.

HGA

Inspired by the distinct beauty of the historic residence and the unique history of Swedish architecture, this addition and renovation includes a new Nelson Education and Cultural Center and improvements to the historic 1908 Turnblad mansion. The design considers contemporary and traditional Swedish aesthetics while prioritizing the use of sustainable technologies.

HGA

Architectural elements emphasize natural wood, glass, stone and textiles; an open and welcoming layout; and handcrafted detailing. The Education and Cultural Center includes facilities for contemporary exhibitions, administrative offices, collections care, and expanded programs.

HGA

Landscape architecture At the center of the expansion, an open lawn serves two purposes: It creates a field for 90 geothermal wells that will be used to cool and heat the expansion while doubling as a gathering space for outdoor events.

HGA

Additional gardens recall Sweden's rich design history through traditional planted forms and species native to both Sweden and Minnesota.

HGA

Collectively, these gardens unify a city block to create a cohesive urban place shared by the institution and the community.

HGA

Architectural project The architectural details relate stories of Swedish culture and local history, from the addition’s slate façade that parallels the same slate on the mansion’s roof to the Swedish art-glass inspired entry.

HGA

But also custom tile by local craftsmen, large-format trompe-l’oeil textile commissioned for the lobby, handrails wrapped in leather by a local saddle maker, and nautical-themed wood ceiling in the event space inspired by the Stockholm City Hall’s timber roof.

HGA

Sustainability Collaboration with Swedish artists and architects informed the design of the Nelson Cultural Center and grounds, which incorporate contemporary and traditional Swedish aesthetics while prioritizing community sensitivity and sustainable initiatives.

HGA

These initiatives, influenced by Sweden’s broad commitment to sustainability and recognized by the King and Queen at the recent Royal Dedication Ceremony, include the use of natural landscapes, vegetated roofs, low potable and irrigation water usage, a holistic approach to energy reduction including ground source geothermal heating and cooling, and an exceptional occupant experience.

HGA

To ensure achievement of verifiable results, the project is pursuing LEED Gold certification, and would be the first museum in the Minnesota to achieve this status.

Location: Minneapolis, USA Architects: HGA Design Team: Nancy Blankfard, Andy Weyenberg Structural Engineer: Sarah Jorczk, Gina Boogren Mechanical Engineer: Craig Lemma, Scott Lichty Electrical Engineer: Helen Peterson Civil Engineer: Erik Hansen Interior Designer: Rich Bonnin, Laurie Rother Landscape Architect: Ross Altheimer ASLA, LEED AP, Erica Christenson Lighting Designer: Tao Ham, Chrysanthi Stockwell Area: 47,038 sq ft Year: 2012 Photographs: Paul Crosby