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  • Mar 30, 2015

ASI Receives National 2015 Buildy Award

The American Swedish Institute Receives National 2015 Buildy Award For Nelson Cultural Center Addition and Campus Expansion

Project Is Rare Midwest Recipient of Prestigious Award from Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums’ Building Symposium

MINNEAPOLIS — The American Swedish Institute (ASI) and HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA) have earned the 2015 Buildy Award from the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums’ Building Museums Symposium for the Nelson Cultural Center expansion project. The award recognizes museum directors whose completed construction projects demonstrate high achievement in the principles espoused in the Building Museums Symposium: careful, creative planning and diligent implementation of construction projects that lead to institutional transformation and sustainability.  Recipients of Buildy Awards have guided their teams to create lasting assets for their institutions and their communities.  ASI is the first museum with a historic house and only the second museum in the midwest to receive the prestigious award.

“With the Nelson Cultural Center now stately established next to the historic Turnblad Mansion and both set within a smartly-designed landscape, the American Swedish Institute has created a comprehensive campus that will serve our community and care for the environment for generations to come. ASI is grateful to the talented team at HGA for enabling us to achieve our vision and appreciates the recognition of the 2015 Buildy Award for such a project in the Midwest,” said ASI President and CEO Bruce Karstadt.

“The Nelson Cultural Center was anexciting opportunity to make a significant contribution to the American Swedish Institute and the City of Minneapolis,” added Tim Carl, FAIA, CEO and Design Principal with HGA. “The distinct beauty of the historic residence and the unique history of Swedish architecture provided rich inspiration for a contemporary expansion.”

The Nelson Cultural Center opened in June of 2012.  Since the expansion, the number of visitors to the American Swedish Institute has more than tripled. The Nelson Cultural Center houses a studio arts classroom, a modern exhibition gallery, a lecture hall, ASI’s award-winning café FIKA, the ASI Museum Shop and an enhanced museum collections facility.

Karstadt and Andy Weyenberg of HGA accepted the award at a March 23 ceremony in Boston. The 2015 Award also honored the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum.  Of the two winning projects, the honoring board noted, “they are fine examples, not just for museum building…but for all types of building design and construction.” 

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