The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis today unveiled designs for a $21.5 million expansion and renovation.
The centerpiece of the project is a 34,000 square foot addition called the Nelson Cultural Center, which will include a glass-enclosed lobby, a large event space, offices, a gallery and studio.
Lead architect Tim Carl of HGA Architects and Engineers says the center is meant to respect and augment the existing Institute building, while adding new elements of culturally specific design.
"We have worked hard to orchestrate natural light, the beauty of natural materials, the warmth and craft in wood and Swedish art glass, patterns in stone, the selection of trees and plants in the landscape are all inspired by Nordic design, and in particular by the landscape and architecture of Sweden," Carl said.
The building will be adjacent to the century old Turnblad Mansion which has housed the ASI since 1929.
"The idea behind the expansion, behind the new building is that it both respects the historic context, but also is a vibrant addition to the neighborhood," Carl said.
The ASI also announced it has raised $11 million for the project so far. The new building is scheduled to open in 2012.