Cool Offices: Stahl Construction Blends Historic Brick and Mortar with Modern Steel and Glass

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — When Stahl Construction caught wind that Ackerberg was renovating the historic Miller Textile Building, it eagerly snapped up 15,000 square feet for a new headquarters. The building renovation involved installing new windows, plumbing and electrical systems to accommodate a brewery, coffee shop and office spaces to what was once a bag manufacturing plant. Stahl planned its space on the second level.

With MSR interior design expertise, Stahl managed its own office space renovations with sustainability in mind – all light fixtures are LED, materials are nontoxic and plumbing was designed to conserve water use. It also focused on organic concepts – a living moss wall display is spritzed with water daily and plants sprout throughout the building.

“I loved the Miller Textile Building right away [and] at the time, not a lot was done – we had a vision for what this space could become,” said Stahl President Jessie Houlihan Bingen via email. ““The overall concept for the space was juxtaposing the rich, compelling existing structure with a modern, sleek, purposefully built environment.”

The construction company inhabits the entire second floor across three connected buildings. The original building was constructed in 1898 and has four floors, bridged by two additions — each two stories — that were erected in 1902, said Deb Johnson Aldrich, project manager. The oldest end of Stahl’s space accommodates the largest conference room, lounge areas, and a library separated by a wooden slat wall re-purposed from old ceiling beams. On the other side, marketing and accounting teams and project managers, type away in short, clustered cubicles.

The other end is fitted with about 13 private offices, an open lounge space and conference room surrounded in floor-to-ceiling glass. The mezzanine bridges it all. On the top level is a small platform that looks over the rest of the floor and faces strings of lights that crisscross exposed ceiling beams. Natural lighting spills in through the kitchen space below, where you can sit and watch the trains pass from time to time – behind sound-proof glass, of course.

Some of the original wooden beams and galvanized duct work were maintained. Exposed wall elements were painted over with a thin finish to keep the original texture intact. Where an arthritic elevator used to run, Stahl Construction removed it, but chose to keep the sheaves and pulleys in place.

Stahl Construction

  • Business: Consulting and construction company
  • CEO: Wayne Stahl
  • President: Jessie Houlihan Bingen
  • Employees in the office: 25 in Minneapolis
  • Building name: Miller Textile Building
  • Address: 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Suite 200, Minneapolis
  • Office opened: January 2017
  • Size: 15,000 square feet
  • Floors: Entire second floor across three connected buildings
  • General contractor: Stahl Construction
  • Architect: MSR Design

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