Millwright Building: New Construction and New Windows, Create Historic Look
Restoring historic windows is one thing, but what if you need to make a new building look old? This was a question we faced when working on the Millwright Building – a brand new building that needed to look like it was lifted out of the 1900s.
About Millwright Building
Millwright is the newest “old” building in town. The four-story Millwright fits half of a city block and needed to be both functional office space, as well as visually cohesive. The building’s retro-look brick and steel interior and exterior details echo the city’s warehouse district in the North Loop, while the Ryan Company’s office space is defined by exposed metal beams, rolled-steel and brick walls, and massive windows that bathe workspaces in natural light.
Even though the building is new construction, it needed to look historic. The building needed to match visually with the Downtown East neighborhood as well as the nearby iconic Mill District. The exterior bricks and prominent windows were critical to creating a classic design to honor the City’s history while contributing to the renewed energy and vitality stimulated by the Downtown East development.
Developers chose the SCW 2500 Series historic windows to replicate the large openings, narrow sightlines, and custom shapes of the neighboring historic Mill District. The third-floor arch openings are approximately 12.5 x 25 feet. SCW2500 Series profiles are specifically designed for large window openings and the historic integrity required for landmark properties. The windows not only provided the historic accuracy required but also provided modern thermal and energy efficiency performance with thermal values ranging from .23 – .31 U-values and .16 – .36 SHGC values and sound transmission ratings up to 45 STC/36 OITC.
Over 400 simulated divided-light windows including a series of broad arches complete the building’s turn-of-the-century look. The four-story Millwright often is mistaken as a historic renovation.
“It’s new construction, but we had a lot of contractors come into the space and say, ‘We’re so glad you were able to rehab this building and keep it from being demolished,’” says John Ekstrand, AIA, Ryan’s director of design. (Architecture MN, 2017 interview)
As historic window experts, St. Cloud Window Inc. satisfies both the aesthetic considerations to meet historic requirements, as well as the practical needs to save energy and protect customer investments.
For more examples of our work, check out our full project page.