ProjectsArchitectureInterior DesignMaster PlanningExperiential Graphic Design
- Mixed Use
- Performing Arts
This 36-story, 1,102,421-SF vertically stacked mixed-use tower is located in the historically significant Gateway District of downtown Minneapolis at the convergence of Hennepin Avenue, Nicollet Mall, Washington Avenue, and South 3rd Street. Anchoring the north termination point of Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian and transit mall considered Minneapolis’ civic “Main Street”, the project consists of 528,718-SF of Class “A” office space, a world-class 265,386-SF Four Seasons Hotel with 242-keys, and 108,426-SF of 33 luxury branded private residences. The tower rises to a height of 522’-6” making it the 10th tallest building on the city’s downtown skyline and offers exceptional sweeping views of the Mississippi River, the neighboring Gateway District, and the downtown Central Minneapolis skyline. Located below grade are 3-levels of parking with 426-spaces to accommodate self and valet parking for office users, hotel guests, and residents.
The 4-level podium is comprised of various public spaces dedicated to building lobbies, hotel amenities including ballrooms, pre-function and meeting spaces, spa functions, retail/restaurant spaces, and service areas. The illuminated, recessed porte-cochere at street level fronts Hennepin Avenue and offers a shared covered valet arrival experience for office users, hotel guests, and residents. Pedestrian circulation through the project, as required by the City to connect Hennepin Avenue to a public plaza on Nicollet Mall, is achieved via the office lobby and an elevated 2nd-floor skyway network that connects to other city blocks throughout the greater downtown area. This 2nd floor elevated skyway feature is unique to Minneapolis due to its extremely cold winters.
The hotel spa, located on the 4th floor of the Podium, is connected to an outdoor amenity terrace with a pool and spa, an alfresco Four Seasons Hotel bar/dining terrace, a fire pit lounging area, and flexible event space designed to accommodate multiple functions. Built-in and movable planters accented with custom up-lighting add a soft and relaxing ambiance to the space. Overall evening illumination is achieved through moonlighting mounted on the 21st floor.
Exterior podium materials of low reflectance, high-performance insulated vision glass reinforce interior awareness at the pedestrian level. It is glazed into a metallic silver and grey aluminum mullion frame of varying patterns and profile depths to create visual interest and texture. Columns and other solid surfaces are clad in polished American Mist granite and locally sourced Iridian granite from Cold Springs, Minnesota. Silver and grey metallic composite metal panels complement the richly textured granite.
The tower, beginning at the 5th floor, is comprised of 16 floors of Class “A”, state-of-the-art office space comprised of 32,000-SF floor plates. These large, generally column-free, efficient floors accommodate 10’ high finished, or 12’ high exposed structure ceilings with full height insulated vision glass offering unobstructed panoramic views.
The 21st and last office floor transitions to a smaller floor plate with access to an outdoor roof terrace that offers breakout space and dramatic downtown skyline views. This transition point in the massing allows the tower to step inward to accommodate 8 narrower floors for the Four Seasons Hotel guestrooms. Sitting atop the guestroom floors are 6 floors of luxury branded residential units with floor-to-ceiling glass that capitalizes on the spectacular views. Generous outdoor roof terraces are protected by glass guardrails and windscreens to minimize disruption of views. Culminating at the peak of the tower sits an internally illuminated translucent glass penthouse enclosure that creates a subtle beacon of light and signature crowning element.
The tower curtain wall exterior façade is composed of high-performance insulated vision glass combined with matching insulated spandrel glass to create a monolithic form. Vertical accents of custom color spandrel glass at column locations are glazed into 6” projecting vertical mullions to accentuate and reinforce the vertical expression, a central theme of the overall exterior design aesthetic.
For vertical transportation, there are zoned passenger elevators for office users, hotel guests, and residents. Access to the office floors includes a low, mid, and high-rise bank of destination dispatch elevators that are monitored at the concierge desk through touchless, turnstile security control points. Servicing of the tower is achieved via a separate bank of three freight elevators monitored for security at the enclosed loading dock area accessed at street level.
The building is sited on a city block bound by four major streets with the northeast corner at Nicollet Mall and Washington Avenue carved out to accommodate a public plaza and potential light rail line and transit station. With a combination of hardscape/landscape elements and city-sponsored art integrated into the structured plaza, the plaza will merge into an overall cohesive plan with Cancer Survivors Park directly across Nicollet Mall to the east and create an overall public and civic space.
Fronting along Nicollet Mall, which is considered the ‘retail street’, and wrapping into the plaza is a Four Seasons Hotel bar/restaurant and outdoor dining terrace designed to engage the public at the pedestrian level. The plaza space acts as the pedestrian connection point to the main office building lobby and creates the opportunity for visual connectivity and interaction between indoor and outdoor spaces.
The main arrival point along Hennepin Avenue is achieved via a recessed porte-cochere that provides covered and protected drop-off access for all building patrons. Building services and below-grade parking are accessed via South 3rd Street, as it offers the least disruption and impediment to the flow of pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
Streetscape standards were followed for the frontages along Hennepin Avenue, South 3rd Street, and Washington Avenue, along with an overlay district standard for the Nicollet Mall frontage. Native plants and shade trees were used throughout the public plaza to create a garden-like atmosphere, while custom benches located throughout the plaza help create a place for rest and refuge from the urban environment.
The one to two-story 7,000-SF office lobby is enclosed by a curved curtain wall glazing system offering panoramic views of the pedestrian plaza fronting Nicollet Mall and Washington Avenue. This bold and dynamic gesture radiates towards the corner of this major city block, showcasing the activity inside. A sculpted 30’ high angled feature wall clad in Vals Quartzite stone becomes a backdrop for the two-story portion of the lobby. It can be viewed and appreciated from nearby seating groups within the lobby, or from the exterior plaza space. Lighting directed from the lower and upper portions of this striking element delicately washes the rough texture of the stone to enhance its uniquely artistic quality.
A central feature of the lobby is the 2,000-SF “Office Café” operated by the Four Seasons Hotel. It offers daily users the opportunity to grab a quick coffee, beverage, danish, or sandwich while in transit to their destination, or a sit-down option within the café or lobby space. The ability to encourage people to have impromptu gatherings, meetings or to check emails reinforces the sense of an active and vibrant retail-inspired pedestrian experience.
The more private elevator lobbies are finished with carefully crafted vertical expressions of walnut veneer paneling, textured metal elevator transoms, custom elevator call lanterns, and brushed stainless steel elevator doors and frames. Illuminating the space are a series of decorative linear light bands accentuated with suspended pendant fixtures. To maintain consistency and harmony throughout, structural columns and walls are similarly clad with Vals Quartzite stone in a contrasting polished finish. A light-colored terrazzo floor incorporates blue and gray hues of granite chips, and equally spaced accent bands, to create a continuous field that unifies the asymmetry of this grand space.
Located at the plaza entrance are monumental stainless-steel clad glass doors with decorative push/pull hardware encased in a metal frame of glass. This creates the ability to maintain controlled separation between the office lobby and the skyway lobby and allow for access to the below-grade parking, exterior plaza, Four Seasons Hotel restaurant and bar, and skyway network. Influenced by motifs of the office lobby design, the skyway lobby and connector incorporate a palette of similar materials to reinforce continuity between the spaces.
Our experiential graphics team continued the established look and feel of the interiors throughout the visual wayfinding system. Industrial-inspired materials, including aged metals, were combined with timeless, iconography and design applications. The resulting wayfinding system blends seamlessly within the surroundings while providing direction for guests and residents alike.
Buckhead Village District (formerly Buckhead Atlanta)
Architecture, Master Planning