Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Exploring the architecture of the Twin Cities

During your time here at MCAD, have you had an opportunity to explore the built environment of the Twin Cities?  In and around downtown Minneapolis, you’ll find an exciting array of world-class architecture, including signature buildings by five Pritzker Prize-winning architects -- among them Frank Gehry’s Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus, and Jean Nouvel’s exciting Guthrie Theater complex overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River.

Adjacent to the Guthrie, the Mill City Museum provides an innovative example of adaptive re-use:  focusing on Minneapolis’ industrial history, the Museum is constructed inside the shell of an historic 19th century flour mill.  Downtown on Nicollet Mall, Cesar Pelli’s Central Public Library is an internationally-renowned “green building,” featuring a host of energy-efficient measures, including a roof garden and substantial use of natural light.

Our Twin City, nearby St. Paul, boasts architectural gems ranging from Cass Gilbert’s Minnesota State Capitol and the Baroque-inspired Cathedral of St. Paul, to the mansion of railroad baron James J. Hill; in close proximity, you can see styles ranging from the French chateau of the Landmark Center to the streamlined Art Deco lines of the Jemne Bulding – and even a touch of populist America in Mickey’s Diner.

At one time, MCAD offered a program in Architecture, and the Library’s collection includes publications documenting many of the Twin Cities’ historic buildings and neighborhoods.  We hope you enjoy looking through these publications highlighting the past and present of the urban landscape all around us!

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