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A contemporary civic hall fit for the 21st Century

“A masterful and successful building that combines a fresh contemporary approach within a historic setting. Architecturally rich with elegant, well-considered detailing and light-filled interiors,” Heinz Richardson, Judge

Project: Minneapolis Public Service Building

Award: Civic - Institutions and community spaces, Gold, 2022

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Architect: Henning Larsen with MSR Design 

Client: City of Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Public Service building offers a contemporary alternative to the historic, granite buildings that make up the city’s government district - bringing local government to the street level and uniting departments and employees that were once scattered across the city. It allows citizens to apply for permits, pay bills and meet with city officials in a welcoming and user-friendly one-stop shop. Public facing functions are condensed on the first two floors with department offices on the upper eight floors. A large feature stair in the entrance lobby provides an inviting public space while the office floors contain workspaces flooded with natural daylight, improved indoor air quality, and a top-floor conference space, café and terrace. Six double-height collaboration zones, clad in wood and each with a unique view out to the city, provide opportunities for social interaction and collaborative work.

Design highlights 

The double height lobby is clad in warm limestone and wood panelling with a white terrazzo floor. Piece de resistance? The Great Seal of Minneapolis which has been restored after 30 years in storage and is now mounted on the two-storey lobby wall.
The soaring glass and aluminium façade captures and exaggerates changing light throughout the day. As clouds pass on sunny days, the building shimmers like the surface of a lake. At night, lit from the inside and set into the darkness of the plaza, it glows like a jewel box.

Photo credit: Corey Gaffer, Gaffer Photography 

  • DESIGN ARCHITECT: Henning Larsen Team
    Michael Sørensen (Partner & Design Director); Nina La Cour Sell (Partner); Mike McElderry (Project Director); Stephanie Rogowski, Sara Rubenstein (Senior Architects); Andreas Brunvoll, Tessira Crawford, Mark David Hocking, Grant McCracken, Christian Bøggild Schuster, Yuye Peng, Royce Perez (Designers)
    Matthew S. Kruntorád, AIA, LEED AP (Partner-in-Charge); Eric Amel, AIA (Project Architect); Alan Hillesland, RA, Dan Vercruysse, AIA, LEED AP (Project Managers); Byoungjin Lee, AIA, LEED AP, Brendan Gill Sapienza, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP, Ken Martin, AIA NCARB, Mitch Karr, AIA (Architects); Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, FASID, LEED Fellow (Workplace Expert, Interior Designer); Caitlin Maus-Grussing, CID (Interior Designer); Benjamen Schwarz, LEED Green, Brian Charles Davis, LEED AP ID+C, Matthew Mahoney, Sara Du (Designers) 

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