Located on the campus of Augsburg College in the heart of Minneapolis, MN, Oren Gateway Center is a building of many purposes. In addition to providing trendy loft-style housing for more than 100 students, the 118,000 sq. ft. structure is a campus gathering spot where students study, eat, meet and learn.
The building is situated along Riverside Avenue, on the campus’ northern boundary. But it was not constructed as a physical barrier between the institution and the neighborhood beyond. Instead, a concerted effort was made—as the building’s very name suggests—to have Oren Gateway Center be open and inviting. It is the school’s front door and officials have the welcome mat out.
In additional to traditional brick, BWBR Architects of St. Paul, MN, used a blend of glass and metal in the building's design to convey modernity and transparency. The metal comes in the form of aluminum composite panels, flat seam wall panels and perforated screenwalls, all fabricated and installed by M.G. McGrath Inc. of Maplewood, MN.
The 4,300 sq. ft. of composite panels are comprised of aluminum skins bonded to a thermoplastic core. Their exterior face sheets have an Anodic Satin anodized finish while the 8,000 sq. ft. of flat seam wall panels, meanwhile, were formed from 22 gauge galvanized steeel with a Medium Bronze paint finish. Also fabricated and installed by McGrath was approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of Silver Metallic Perforated 7.2-rib screen wall panels and 8,000 sq. ft. of 20-gauge galvanized steel sheathing.
An energy consulting group worked with the architect to ensure the building was every bit as efficient as it was attractive. In addition to meeting strict State of Minnesota energy standards, Oren Gateway Center’s design incorporates green strategies to handle rainwater and storm runoff.