In Brief

Substance over style for buildings in 2009.

BusinessWeek recently posted a best of 2009 collection of new architectural projects. What is striking about the collection is the absence of over-styled ‘icon’ buildings by big name architects. Instead the list spotlights projects that make energy efficiency a priority, re-purpose neglected spaces, or add to the health and well being of a community.

The Hawks Boots Sustainable Manufacturing Facility in Duluth Minnesota by Salmela Architects reused a formerly abandoned building and brownfield site. The area was cleaned up and much of the existing structure was kept. The architects incorporated natural light, ventilation, and passive solar heating. The renovated interior is open planned and includes a patio where staff can work outside on nice days.

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