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Site
1.7 acres, an L-shaped assemblage between 6th–7th streets South and Second–Third avenues in the commercial district

Index to Projects in Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Gross Floor Area
1.9 million
(including 328,000 s/f parking/services)

Client
IBM Associates Limited Partnership, a Joint Venture of IBM Corporation (Managing Partner) and The OPUS Corporation, Minneapolis, MN

Time Frame
Planning:
   Early 1988–
Construction:
   Early 1989–
Completion:
   October 1992

Sustainability
LEED Gold Certified
(Existing Building)

Capella Tower (originally First Bank Place

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Completed 1992

 

Lead Designer: James Ingo Freed

 

Investment office building with public space, retail and underground parking
 

Click on image to enlarge

This office complex, erected on an L-shaped site, is a rationalized response to disparate urban conditions and also to the need to accommodate two major corporate tenants with individual identities. In solution, the building includes a 58-story tower that acknowledges nearby high-rises, a 20-story building that responds to mid-rise neighbors and defines a previously borderless park, and finally, a corner winter garden that hinges the complex together while focusing smaller-scale historic landmarks.

The mass is built up with six-story cubes, or locally scaled building blocks, and round towers of various heights and diameter that speak to the larger city. Each component has a different orientation and grid pattern, but all are unified by a common geometry, related materials and a ground-level arcade. Atop the whole is an illuminated crown which, housing an antennae farm and communications network, signals the existence of a significant urban event in this part of the city.

The building's base is carved away to create a permeable membrane of public amenity and circulation. Street life is thus revalidated in a city where pedestrian traffic has been largely rerouted through elevated skywalks. First Bank Place itself plays a key role in the skywalk system, providing shelter from Minneapolis's sub-zero winters by means of bridges to neighboring buildings.

 

Major Components

1.4 million s/f offices in 278-foot high 20-story building (typical floor 56,000 s/f) 775-foot high 58-story tower (typical floor 18,000 s/f); 100,000 s/f retail and public space including winter garden and skywalks (levels 1-2); parking for 450 cars on 3 levels below grade + 1 service level (328,000 s/f)

 

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners services

Urban Design; Site Planning; Architectural Design; Interior Design of public spaces; coordination with associate architect on construction documents and construction administration

 

Associate Architect

HKS, Inc., Dallas, TX

 

Structural

CBM Engineers, Houston, TX

 

Mechanical

Cosentini Associates LLP, New York, NY

 

 

Photo credits

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