Doxa Orange right arrow Rebar on the Road – Minneapolis

For many of us who hail from the metropolitan city of San Francisco, Middle America is often unfairly referred to as the “flyover states.” In a recent visit to the architecture program at the University of Minnesota by one of Rebar’s own, Josh Berliner, this adage proved to be a thing of the past.

The new Guthrie Theater on the banks of the Mississippi brings industry and contemporary architecture together. (Jean Nouvel/Architectural Alliance, 2005)

The new Guthrie Theater on the banks of the Mississippi brings industry and contemporary architecture together (Jean Nouvel/Architectural Alliance, 2005)

The architecture of Minneapolis long spoke to the city’s historic mill and lumber industries that scatter the shores of the Mississippi River. In recent years, new public art installations and architecture have brought urban revitalization to the Mill District and other formerly industrial areas. One such project is the new Guthrie Theater. Completed in 2005, this structure honors the former Guthrie Theater and offers vantages of historic Minneapolis while embracing contemporary form and materials.

Standing Glass Fish (Frank Gehry, 1986) Cantilevered facade of the Walker Art Center (Herzog and de Meuron/HGA, 2005) Each window at the Walker Art Center is a unique portal the city

Standing Glass Fish          Walker Art Center Facade       Window of the Walker

Minneapolis-based firm VJAA was recently awarded top honors from the AIA in receiving 2012 Firm of the Year. However, heralded architecture is nothing new to Minneapolis. The Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus was designed in 1993 by Frank Gehry, with a new addition completed in the Fall of 2011. The Walker Art Center’s renovation, headed by Herzog and de Mueron and local firm HGA, was completed in 2005, but the center itself has long been a beacon of art in the community. A sculpture garden is taking shape on the open plot of land adjacent to the museum’s main building and currently features work by, amongst others, James Turrell (Sky Pesher, 2005) and Frank Gehry (Standing Glass Fish, 1986).

Frank Gehry - Weisman

Weisman Art Museum (Frank Gehry, 1993/2011)

Though many of the architectural attractions in Minneapolis are prominently displayed, there is one hidden gem in an unexpected location. John Cook and Joan Soranno, design partners at Minneapolis-based HGA, just completed the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum this January. The exterior is a beautiful structure of granite, glass, and mosaic tiling that nestles into the rolling landscape it resides upon. The interior is a quiet and reflective space finished with deep wood, several hues of onyx, and unmatched lighting via large windows and a string of skylights.

Lakewood Mausoleum 1 Lakewood Mausoleum 2 Lakewood Mausoleum 3

Minneapolis offers a blend of contemporary architecture with classic styling that is both unique and beautiful. If you are thinking about taking a trip across the U.S. don’t just fly over the middle. Stop in for a visit – you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for a great visit Minneapolis!

Written by Rebar

March 1st, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Inspiration