Rising above the century-old cobblestones of Saint Anthony Main stands the historic Pillsbury A-Mill, a physically impressive reminder of the origins of the city of Minneapolis. Once the largest flour milling operation in the world, operations were shut down in 2003. The building sat vacant and deteriorated over the next several years. In 2011, it was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation list of 11 Most Endangered Places.
Renewed interest in Minneapolis’ urban core and a demand for affordable housing, provided an opportunity to reuse the Pillsbury A-Mill to support Minneapolis and its burgeoning artistic culture. In 2013, Dominium acquired the mill and revitalized it into 251 affordable artist apartments known as the A-Mill Artist Lofts, bringing new life to the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.
A-Mill Artist Lofts was awarded the AIA Minneapolis Merit Award for 2016. This award honors projects designed by AIA Minneapolis architects that tell a story of excellence beyond design and reflect the variety of forces that shape a building. In addition, A-Mill Artist Lofts was selected as the 2016 Michael L. Schrock, AIA, Merit Award recipient. This honor is awarded to the winning project that most embodies Michael’s 7 Rules of Architecture: know where you are from, know who you are, know why you are, respect your benefactors, honor the environment, architecture must serve those who occupy it, there is beauty in functional economical, safe, environmentally responsible, owner-driven architecture.
The Merit Awards were presented to recipients at the AIA Minneapolis Chapter Luncheon in June at International Market Square in Minneapolis.
View full AIA announcement here.
Mark Manetti with BKV Group recently received the Accredited Learning Environments Planner (ALEP) designation, a mark of excellence developed to reflect the knowledge, skills and abilities of a competent educational facility planner. The ALEP credential was designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and identify those in the educational environment industry who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of educational facility planning.
The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE, formerly known as CEFPI), creator of the ALEP credential, observed that “An individual who has been certified by A4LE has achieved the highest qualification in our profession. Clients can appoint ALEPs with confidence that they have been examined for competence by our association.”
After meeting eligibility requirements and submitting an application, ALEP candidates must pass a rigorous CEFP exam. Once a candidate has earned the credential, they must maintain it by fulfilling certification renewal requirements every three years, in addition to maintaining minimum continuing education units each year.
The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) is the only professional organization whose principal purpose is improving the places where children learn. A4LE embraces a diverse group of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, high performance and sustainable learning environments that enhance student and teacher performance and support culture and community vitality.
Washington-based Weidner Apartment Homes is one step closer to breaking ground on a new multifamily development in Minneapolis, which will include an 18,500-square-foot interior courtyard loaded with green space and recreational amenities. Designed by BKV Group, the upcoming “1400 Park” community will include a mix of market-rate one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as 13 studios and nine penthouse suites.
Construction is expected to begin in November and wrap up by January 2018. We’re excited to partner with Weidner on this new project. >> Check out the full MHN article
The Arcade Apartments project was recently highlighted by MFE Magazine. BKV Group had the opportunity to work on helping bring this historic building back to life. In 2014, Dominium, a Minneapolis-based developer that had successfully completed other adaptive-reuse projects in St. Louis, purchased the building. Throughout the process, they overcame significant challenges to transform this 1913 structure in downtown St. Louis into a successful mixed-use high-rise with artists’ lofts and studios, market-rate units, and university satellite space.
“The beautiful Arcade Building seemed a logical step after our prior work [in St. Louis], since it was larger,” says Dominium’s Jeff Huggett, project partner and vice president of development and acquisitions.
Among the toughest challenges was carving out the building’s 282 residential units, since few floors were the same, which meant the floor plans couldn’t be repeated easily. The building now reflects a look back—and forward. See what BKV Group interiors partner, Melissa Metzler has to say about the transformation. >> Read the full MFE article
4th & L Street Apartments is a new 10-story, 133-unit apartment building in the Mount Vernon Triangle district of Washington, DC. The BKV team designed and engineered the building using our innovative steel stud system, which allows for buildings that are taller than wood and more economical than concrete. Paired with our integrated design services, 4th & L is a model for smarter construction on urban sites and higher ROI for developers.
Watch the video to learn about the potential of this exciting design system.
We’re proud to announce that three BKV projects were winners at the 2015 Multi-Family Executive (MFE) Awards.
Congratulations to everyone involved with these great projects!
Read MFE’s articles on the winners here.
Empty office buildings, meet adaptive reuse.
The BKV team worked with Promark Real Estate Services to design the recently completed Octave 1320, an office-to-condo conversion project in Silver Spring, Maryland. We preserved the building’s basic structure, but completely rehabbed the interior into 102 one- and two-bedroom units. The condos offer modern finishes, floor-to-ceiling windows, and flexible features such as movable granite islands and movable wall partitions. Octave 1320 also has a first-floor clubroom, a bike storage room, and a roof deck with a pool and skyline views.
With open floor plans and affordable list prices, these condos are geared toward first-time buyers — and the price was right for the developer, too. The foundation and support structures were kept intact, and the construction time (about 12 months) was much faster than new construction.
Click below to learn more about the benefits of office conversion projects:
The Pillsbury A-Mill, constructed in 1881 by Charles A. Pillsbury, is one of the most iconic remnants of Minneapolis’ rich milling history. Despite being designated as a National Historic Landmark, the mill fell into disrepair after production ceased in 2003. In 2011, the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the A-Mill on its list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
Dominium purchased the building in 2013. Now, BKV and the developer are transforming the historic mill into the A-Mill Artist Lofts. This affordable housing community will offer 255 live-work apartments and amenity spaces geared toward artists, including art galleries, clay studios, painting studios, a photography studio, digital media studios, vocal and instrumental sound booths, dance practice studios, and a performance hall.
New interventions on the buildings are being completed in a way that respects the historic and raw industrial character of the buildings. The lower level of the A-Mill will house a new interpretive museum that will tell the story of the complex and the role of water power in milling. Two new primary entrances feature extruded metal volumes that recall industrial chutes found within the buildings and respect the industrial character of the site.
Joel Otto, a member of BKV’s Construction Administration team, led a group of staff on an exclusive tour of this exciting project, which is slated for completion later this year. Click through the photo gallery above!
BKV Group founder and partner Jack Boarman, AIA, is moderating a panel tomorrow at BASH15 at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. The panel, “Urban Infill Developments,” will cover the ins and outs of these often complex projects, from best practices to collaborating with developers to find smart design solutions.
Attending? Don’t miss this exciting panel from 11:00-11:45 AM!
Jack Boarman founded BKV Group in 1978 and over the last 36 years has worked to expand it to include 120 professionals working on projects throughout the United States. Jack continues to lead the firm’s national multi-housing practice group in a holistic team approach in pursuit of innovative urban design. Jack and his team focus their designs on the neighborhood as a whole, intertwining transit-oriented development, and neighborhood community – building with creative residential developments that reflect today’s urban lifestyle living. Jack frequently speaks as an expert on student and multi-family housing.
Schmidt Artist Lofts, Lime, The Marshall, and One Southdale Place have all been named among the Finance & Commerce Top Projects of 2014. The list, which was released earlier this week, includes a wide variety of projects such as the new Alexandria High School, the METRO Green Line, and the Surly Destination Brewery. Finance & Commerce will release profiles on each project throughout the summer and fall. Congratulations to all the winners!
Schmidt Artist Lofts:
The adaptive reuse of the Schmidt Brewery into affordable artist lofts continues the rich tradition of a 100-year-old Saint Paul landmark. The design scope involved restoring the structures’ exteriors, which feature crenellated towers and Gothic details, and converting the Brew House and Bottling House into 247 loft-style units. 13 townhomes with corbeled eaves and low-pitched roofs were also added to the site to provide a total of 260 units.
The design concept was driven by a respect of the historic beauty of the buildings, and integrating state-of-the-art infrastructure for the artists. Brewery equipment was left in place where possible and highlighted with accent lighting to bring the old relics back to life. A variety of contemporary, welcoming seating and gathering areas allow residents to lounge and work. Bright colors derived from the Schmidt Brewing Companies’ original advertisement campaigns were used throughout.
Read more about Schmidt Artist Lofts.