In early 2017, the City of Minneapolis was searching to develop a new public service building situated proximate to the existing city hall. The purpose was twofold: the city needed a critical update to its systems and operations and was eager for a new, contemporary face for public service. Following a public procurement process, Henning Larsen with MSR was selected to lead the design. A detailed Design Vision was submitted outlining the potential impact of the project on the site and the larger urban context. In it, the Design Team focused intently on supporting new and improved levels of service and operations, and on promoting an accessible and people-focused model. We looked towards a strategic concept that would realize a building woven into its urban context and reflective of the diversity of Minneapolis. The Design Team participated in the planning and execution of a diverse outreach campaign geared towards inviting the public into the decisionmaking process. This process was fostered a rich dialogue about the role of civic architecture in today’s urban and historic environments. The architecture team operated as a conduit through which project stakeholders, design team members and key decision-makers had a voice in the process. We also helped lead a Present / Listen / Feedback / Act process with diverse user groups whereby each meeting was presented as a collaborative learning process. By educating the public and alternately learning from them, we collected valuable feedback that led to a comprehensive understanding of public interests and community equity. 


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