Renowned architect Cass Gilbert’s Minnesota State Capitol was built in 1905. Time, weather and other environmental factors had severely taken hold of the historic building through the years. The exterior was crumbling in a few locations, safety concerns had to addressed and the roof was causing issues both inside and out. Harsh environmental issues over the years made the roof unserviceable. Additionally, the roof made issues in the interior a burden too. Water damage had leaked in via the dome and caused issues with the finishes inside. Ineffective and outdated systems, sub-standard public areas and the fantastic murals that graced the walls had began to fade or were damaged by the diminishing roof. Another concern that had to be addressed was creating more meeting space within the existing footprint in order to meet the needs of the legislation members.
Between 2010 – 2011, a unique team of historians, architects and civic leaders gathered to decide what would be the best way to restore and preserve the capitol building. Construction began in 2013 and the renovated capitol was completed in August 2017.
Updating and integrating new mechanical systems and products presented another challenge for the project team. The historical building’s outdated system had to be updated to meet new standard requirements while preserving the history of the architecture. BIM models of the original system as well as other renovations were used to assist with the layout of the new systems. Enhancing the HVAC system was part of this process. The products selected were not only chosen for their performance, but for their aesthetics and seamless integration features as well.
THE END RESULT
The impressive design originally created by Cass Gilbert, one of the most renowned architects of his time, will now live on for a whole new generation to appreciate. All of the stakeholders involved were able to perfectly blend new technology and innovations with the historic aesthetics of the capitol building in order for the Minnesota State Capitol to continue to be fixture of the community for the next hundred years.