At first glance, one might not see anything unusual about the red barn that has appeared on the landscape in Blaine, Minn., a growing suburban community just north of Minneapolis/St. Paul. But take a closer look and you’ll see that the attractive structure is actually the cornerstone building of the new Lexington Athletic Complex.
The design pays homage to the historic family farm which previously occupied the 38-acre site. The complex includes ball fields, a basketball court, hockey rink, tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic areas. The 4,700-sq.-ft. barn-like structure provides meeting space, concessions, restrooms, administrative areas and equipment storage.
Design was created by Ron Brenner Architects in Stillwater, Minn. The firm has agrarian architectural experience, explained Ron Brenner, principal. “I think that’s why we were hired. The objective was to create farmland imagery with a modern building that harkened back to the iconic nature of the area,” he said.
Approximately 4,000 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels made a significant contribution to accomplishing the design objectives. The Petersen 24-gauge panels were finished in Charcoal color and interface with red fiber cement board-and-batten siding. Asphalt shingles initially were considered for the project but it was quickly determined that metal was required to create the look everyone wanted, Brenner said. “The city decided that the durability and low maintenance that metal provided was important too, and obviously delivered the desired aesthetic. It was a pretty easy decision for them to make.”
The program director for the city of Blaine, Jerome Krueger, gives the project high marks. “It’s a great success for the city,” Krueger said. “The complex is well-utilized and the building conveys a modern image while relating to the past.”
The Snap-Clad panels were installed by Nordstrom Architectural Sheet Metal in Rockford, Minn. The job was relatively straight-forward, said Nordstrom estimator Paul O’Neill. “There were some interesting transitions given the different planes and valleys, but everything went together really well. The profile is easy to install.” Fabrication of the custom detailing was done in Nordstrom’s shop.
The general contractor on the project was Ebert Construction in Corcoran, Minn.
Photos © Steve Bergerson