Project Detail


SPECS Optical Facade

Minneapolis, MN United States


Project Description

The irony of an optical shop that one can’t see on one of the busiest commercial streets in Minneapolis was not lost on the business owners. Landscape beautification installed by the city obscured their storefront, and sign code limitations prevented the shop from using signage that would be visible behind the trees and bushes. The architects investigated both code options and technology to create architecture inseparable from the idea of sign. The design both relies on, and elevates, the character of the 100-year-old building it embraces. A crystalline envelope of CNC-cut 5/8" thick, 3-layer greenhouse polycarbonate grows out of the storefront openings. The triple wall ("greenhouse") polycarbonate is rigid, inexpensive, and self-supporting in its triangulated geometry. The tradition of eyewear fabrication is reflected as old technology and new technology abut each other (the 1900 building and its new skin).


Project Details

SPECS Optical Facade
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