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HGA: SWEDISH INSTITUTE’S NELSON CULTURAL CENTER by HGA
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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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HGA: SWEDISH INSTITUTE’S NELSON CULTURAL CENTER by HGA {USA}