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Projects   Project Portfolio – July 2005
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Walker Art Center

Herzog & de Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron expand Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center with quirky new volumes spun from the original building’s tight spiral

Photo © Paul Warchol

By Sarah Amelar

With chunky massing and silvery, lightly crumpled aluminum cladding, Herzog & de Meuron’s Walker Art Center expansion hovers over the sidewalk: a striking counterpoint to its adjoining neighbor, the center’s original, decisively grounded, brick-clad structure, by Edward Larrabee Barnes. On its own, the 1971 Barnes building offered little space for public mingling outside its tranquil succession of pure, white, rectilinear galleries stepping up in a spiral. With few windows and a solidly opaque exterior, it remained architecturally quiet and self-contained. Yet as an institution, the Walker evolved into an exceptionally animated place, known for its risk-taking and discoveries of new talent. In 1988, the museum first pushed outward, creating a sculpture garden on its own grounds. But now, with Herzog & de Meuron’s recent $70 million expansion—doubling the total interior space from 130,000 to 260,000 square feet—the container has begun to uncoil its tight spiral.

As if tossed out by centripetal force, a series of four skewed, boxlike structures, embedded in a broad glassy passageway, now extend up the hill from the Barnes building. The series culminates in the tallest volume—the bulky block of ice—rising five stories and housing the art center’s new theater, restaurant, and event space.
“We knew we wanted to end up with one building—not two parts,” recalls Walker director Kathy Halbreich. “But it was essential for us to engage a practice that would respect the Barnes without being cowed by it.” Instead of mirroring, engulfing, or grafting onto the original building, the Herzog & de Meuron scheme offers the new and the old as an almost casually strewn collection of eclectic yet related objects (all connected by the glass passageway).

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the People

Walker Art Center,
Kathy Halbreich, director

Herzog & de Meuron
Rheinschanze 6
CH-4056 Basel
Tel: +41 61 385 5757
Fax: +41 61 385 5758

H&deM Project Team:
Nandini Bagchee, Carlos Bautista, Christine Binswanger, Andrzej Egli, Raphael Forny, Thomas Gluck, Jacques Herzog, Nahyun Hwang, Adrian Kast, Martin Krapp, Rebecca Lowry, Florian Marti, Pierre de Meuron, Roberto de Oliveira, Peter Sigrist, Charles Stone, Mathis Tinner, Thomas de Vries

Architect and Engineers of Record
Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc.
Partner: Dan Avchen
Project manager: John Cook

Desvigne-Dalnoky, Paris
Miche Desvigne, partner

Isometrix Lighting + Design, London
Arnold Chan, partner Kirkegaard Associates, Chicago—Larry Kirkegaard, parnter

Acoustical & Media Design:

Theater design:
Fischer Dachs Assoc, NYC
Joshua Dachs,

Curtain wall:
Front, Inc. NYC

Owner’s Representative:
The Tegra Group, Minneapolis
Hennepin Avenue Media Projection

Concept and Design:
- Andrew Blauvelt, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
- Jiae Kim & Lisa Strausfeld, Pentagram, New York

Architectural Integration:
Thomas Gluck, Herzog & de Meuron, Basel

Frans Swarte, Kirkegaard Associates, Chicago

Audio/Visual Installation:
- Ben Baker, SPL Integrated Solutions, St. Paul
- Duane Laabs & Eleanor Savage, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Video Projectors:
Sharp Electronics Corporation, Mahwah, NJ

Synchronization and Animation:
Dataton AB, Linköping, Sweden

Motion Graphics:
Andrew Blauvelt & Eric Williams, Walker Art Center

Façade Consultant:
FRONT, New York, USA

Acoustic Consultant:
Kirkegaard Associates, Chicago, USA

Surveyor (setting out):
Egan, Field + Nowak, Inc., Minneapolis, USA

Traffic Planning:
Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Minneapolis, USA

Fire and Code Consultant:
The MountainStar Group, Inc., Bloomington, USA

Parking Consultant:
SRF Consulting Group, Minneapolis, USA

Security Consultant:
Floyd Total Security, Bloomington, USA

Vertical Circulation:
Lerch, Bates + Associates, Minneapolis, USA

Retail Consultant:
FAME, Minneapolis, USA

Food Service Consultant:
Robert Rippe Associates, Minneapolis, USA

General contractor
M.A. Mortenson
John Wood, Kendall Griffith

– Paul Warchol
– Floto + Warner

the Products

Structural System
Acrylic stucco (base), Dryvit

Exterior Cladding
Glass curtain wall:
Insulated Glass with custom, acid-etched surface - Interclad and U.A.D.

Spantek Expanded Metal - expanded-aluminum-mesh panels (with custom stamped surface)
Manufacturer: Lilja Inc, Eden Prairie, Mn.
Fabricator, Installer: M.G. McGrath

Interior Finishes
Interior walls:
Hand-finished, polished plaster by Armour. Fabricator, Installer: Minute-Ogle

McGuire Theater interior:
Spantek Expanded Metal: expanded-aluminum-mesh panels (with custom stamped surface) Manufacturer: Lilja Inc, Eden Prairie, Mn. Fabricator, Installer: M.G. McGrath

– Brick: Endicott
Installer: Grazzini Brothers
– White terrazzo: Twin City Tile


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