Archives

  1. Madison Public Market

    Key goals for the project are to create architecture that supports food and vendor equity and promotes Madison’s program to eliminate barriers for entrepreneurship in disadvantaged populations; offer an environment that attracts commercial, recreational and social activities; and provide an authentic, inspiring, animated public place that welcomes the entire community. The project entails converting a municipal fleet services building into an open and vibrant community space. Exploring architecture’s role in food equity and business incubation, the design offers flexible spaces to support a variety of vendors sizes, services, and experiences to ensure individual and mutual economic success. The new market will incorporate advanced stormwater management strategies to reduce runoff in a flood-prone location, focusing on physical, social, and urban resilience. The project involved a robust community engagement process to ensure that diverse voices and perspectives were included. The process included a feedback loop to demonstrate how input was incorporated and meeting with focus groups and potential vendors.

  2. Hennepin County Library Southdale Library & Edina Art Center

    This new regional library and art gallery will serve as an extension of an 8-acre urban green space, featuring a trailhead for regional trails, activated terrain, native plantings, and wetland gardens. A partnership between the Hennepin County Library and Edina Art Center, the new building will showcase how these community organizations are better together. The library and arts center is designed to meet the ambitious goals of Hennepin County’s Climate Action Plan and the State of Minnesota’s B3 sustainable guidelines. A combination of passive design, a high-performance façade, efficient building systems, and on-site renewables will enable the project to achieve near net-zero energy. The completed design will include a spectrum of restorative landscapes, from open water within the low areas of the site to wet prairies, a freshwater marsh, tallgrass prairies, and oak barrens. The library and arts center will also serve as a trailhead for the Nine Mile Creek regional trail system and provide a missing link in the Edina Promenade to connect local parks and regional assets.

  3. Bentonville Public Library Expansion

    This expansion to a beloved community library will offer more amenities and unique opportunities to learn, connect, gather, and participate in enriched programming. The expansion will reflect the community library’s values, including reading and education (focusing on all forms of learning for all ages, backgrounds, and abilities), arts and culture, bicycling and trails, connections to nature, collaboration, human services, and equitable access. New features will include an expanded children’s area with storytime space and craft area; a centrally-located, flexible makerspace; an expanded teens’ zone; additional meeting rooms; and an expanded Friends bookstore.

  4. Sno-Isle Libraries Darrington Library

    This renovation project will provide new and enhanced library services to the Darrington community. Library design features resulted from an extensive public engagement process to reflect community needs and a truly local context. It is the first Sno-Isle Libraries project to implement elements from the Capital Framework, Design Guidelines, and Signage Standards that MSR Design developed with the library. The renovated building will include an enclosed study room, a business center, a storytime room, and outdoor space, which is connected to the existing meeting room for maximum flexibility.

  5. Reimagining Warner Beach Design Competition

    Perched along the shores of four of the Yahara Lakes, the City of Madison’s location has attracted generations of residents and visitors and created a unique genius of place for Wisconsin’s capital city. Lake Mendota’s predevelopment lakeshore consisted of fluctuating, routinely inundated forest, marsh, and wetland areas where plants, sun, soil, fish, wildlife, and other organisms maintained a dynamic equilibrium and clean, healthy lake. By contrast, much of the current lakeshore is blanketed with lawns or armored with riprap and bulkheads, drastically reducing the environment’s ecological contribution. Increased development and associated urban runoff, more frequent and intense storms and flooding, and encroaching invasive species have compounded the loss of natural shoreline. “The Living Edge,” MSR’s design proposal for Warner Beach, responds to these conditions by tripling the beach’s effective shoreline area along the 1/4-mile stretch of Lake Mendota. This replicable approach aims to build resilience in the face of climate change, enhance biological diversity, and restore ecosystem function. In addition to amplifying ecological performance, the increase in lake edge expands experiential opportunities for visitors and nurtures a natural affinity for the water’s edge. 

  6. Lake Superior Cabin

    This new cabin’s structure will be pushed up to the set-back from the lake on a steeply sloped site to take full advantage of the proximity to the water. Design features will include a simple sloped roof with a side deck that extends past the front of the cabin to offer a 270-degree view of the lake. As many existing trees as possible will be retained by positioning the cabin between them. The client also plans to add a sauna in the future.

  7. Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative Aster Commons

    Developed by Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, this new supportive housing complex contains 39 dwelling units designed to help young adults find calm and respite. It features a variety of flexible-use rooms scattered throughout the building that accommodate meetings between residents and care staff and counseling sessions, as well as providing safe, calming spaces for residents outside their individual apartments. The design employs biophilic elements (e.g., color, light control, organic shapes, interior plants, and views to the outdoor gardens) to bring the outdoors inside, create a calm and soothing environment, and provide spaces that are visually easy to navigate. A completely enclosed backyard will provide a safe, secure area for residents to engage in outdoor activities, separated by a paver patio from small outdoor rooms for contemplative activities and garden plots to be tended by the residents.

     

  8. GAP School Page Street Houses

    This project is a collaboration with GAP School, a skills training program that teaches young adults construction trades by having them build actual construction projects. The structures are designed to accommodate the program by using simple construction techniques, modest roof slopes, and moderate framing spans, while creating homes that meet the highest design standards. These four new single-family homes for low-income families are designed to accommodate multiple generations living under the same roof. The homes have bedrooms, bathrooms, and commons spaces on the ground floor for elderly or disabled family members. The homes are oriented on the lot to accommodate two parked cars in the driveway, leaving the adjacent public sidewalk clear for pedestrians.

    Referencing Passive House design standards, passive systems include a solar chimney, window placement to promote cross ventilation, concrete mass flooring, and large south-facing windows. Since the homes themselves serve as teaching tools, the design prioritizes more labor-intensive processes over expensive materials to achieve performance efficiencies. For example, the exterior walls are a double wall with rigid insulation to illustrate construction technique, rather than using more expensive insulation materials. Simple, time-honored passive design strategies enable homeowners to easily and sustainably maintain their homes. The client is pursuing LEED v4.1 Residential Single Family Homes Platinum certification for the first home.