Connecting to the Castle: The American Swedish Institute's sustainable expansion in Minneapolis,
Working in consultation with the institute, as well as Swedish designers Åke Axelsson and Karin Ahlgren, HGA designed the cultural center as a contemporary structure on the site of a former parking lot, which had formerly created an uninviting and confusing approach to the mansion. Encompassing 34,000 square feet and two floors, the new building provides a strong new entry point for the whole facility and offers gallery, performance, and meeting spaces, as well as a café. (The mansion is still open and houses additional galleries, a library and archives, and a performance space.) Despite its modern aesthetic, the new building complements the historic mansion in unexpected ways, including an exterior wrapped in slate tiles—the same material as the mansion’s roof—and an asymmetrical roofline that mimics the proportions of the mansion.