BWBR is a multi-disciplinary firm founded in 1922 by William M Ingemann with his wife Dorothy Brink Ingemann. During the initial years, the firm explored and experimented with the various styles of architecture belonging to periods of the 1920s and 1930s. In the year 1941, Ingemann hired Milt Bergstedt which led to the official formation of BWBR whose philosophical roots are still being followed. The employee-owned firm is at Saint Paul (Minnesota), Madison (Wisconsin), and Omaha (Nebraska). The firm primarily focuses on solutions to enhance the quality of space and human-centered safety. Here are a few selected projects by BWBR.

1. Saint Paul Public School – River east K8 Special Education Centre

  • Location: St Paul, Minnesota
  • Year: 2018
  • Size: 80,000 sq. ft. renovation; 35,000 sq. ft

A former industrial building redesigned into a school with a prime focus on the mental health and wellbeing of students; the building shell is designed to create a therapeutic environment, and spaces are carefully designated to connect students and staff. Yet avoids rigidity and houses a calming ambiance which encourages students to express themselves.

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Exterior Detail at SPPS Rivereast Special Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of SPPS Rivereast Special Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Corridor at SPPS Rivereast Special Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior View at SPPS Rivereast Special Education Centre. ©www.brbw.com
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Playground at SPPS Rivereast Special Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com

2. Avera McKennan Hospital – Avera Behavioral Health Centre

  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Year: 2006
  • Size: 1,30,000sft

The design breaks the stereotype of a mental health treatment hospital. The rigid, formal, and gloomy atmosphere that a hospital portrays is replaced with a two-storey courtyard which forms the main feature and connects the people to nature through its ample daylight. The courtyard also houses colored walls, water body and meditation room to create an environment that evokes the sense of tranquility, and reduces the anxiety of patients.

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Conceptual Sketch of Avera Behavioral Health Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Avera Behavioral Health Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior corridor view at Avera Behavioral Health Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Courtyard at Avera Behavioral Health Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Water fountain at Avera Behavioral Health Centre. ©www.bwbr.com

3. Parish Community of St Joseph

  • Location – New Hope, Minnesota
  • Year – 2004
  • Size – 15000sft sanctuary

This religious chapel houses a flexible seating of 900 to 1100 arranged in a semi-circular pattern with an open sanctuary that connects directly to the gathering space. An open space is created to enhance socialization and act as a multi-functional space for community meetings and greetings before the commencement of the service.

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Conceptual Sketch of Parish Community St Joseph Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior view of Parish Community St Joseph Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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View of worship area with central altar at Parish Community St Joseph. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior View at Parish Community St Joseph Church. ©www.bwbr.com

4. State of Minnesota – Minnesota Senate Building 

  • Location – Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Year – 2017
  • Size – 293000sft

The administrative building designed in collaboration with Pickard – Chilton, consists of 67 legislator offices, workspace for 360 people and three hearing rooms with its largest room that occupies 250 seats. The building is treated with limestone, quartered White Ash wood, and Danby Marble to showcase Minnesota craftsmanship.

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Exterior Facade of Minnesota Senate Building. ©bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Minnesota Senate Building. ©bwbr.com
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Interior View at Minnesota Senate Building. ©bwbr.com
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Interior View at Minnesota Senate Building. ©bwbr.com

5. Minnesota Capitol Complex Parking Ramp F

  • Location – Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Year – 2017
  • Size – 187711sft

The four-storyed structure can accommodate 530 cars and is located between several office buildings and connects with major streets. It was designed in less than 3 months to avoid congestion. Located next to the Minnesota Capitol Complex, the building is designed to respect its context. Landscaping features with retention ponds and pedestrian plaza acts as a public realm and contributes to enhancing the value of the surrounding structures.

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Exterior facade detail of Minnesota Capitol Complex Parking Ramp. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior Facade View of Minnesota Capitol Complex Parking Ramp. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Minnesota Capital Complex Parking Ramp. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Minnesota Capitol Complex Parking Ramp. ©www.bwbr.com

6. Eagle Brook Church

  • Location Anoka, Minnesota
  • Year – 2017
  • Size – 60000sft

The uniquely built church was a former vacant Kmart building that was designed in an unconventional way to resemble a convention center and enhances community gathering. The church also houses a kids’ education center which is designed with bright colors and open space to connect to nature and encourages the younger members to be a part of the church and promote excitement and celebration.

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Auditorium View at Eagle Brooke Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Eagle Brooke Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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Front Entrance view of Eagle Brooke Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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View of Kids Education Wing at Eagle Brooke Church. ©www.bwbr.com

7. Fortune 500 Company – Research & Development Building

  • Location – Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Size – 466000sft gross area
  • Year – 2016

The 4-storiedLEED certified research building addresses sustainable design standards. The structure is strategically designed to place the research area at the center with its mechanical systems and office spaces connected to it. The quality of office space is improved with the use of large windows for natural lighting and an open plan to encourage interaction and avoid rigidity.

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Exterior View of Research and Development Building. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Office View at Research and Development Building. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Open workspace at Research and Development Building. ©www.bwbr.com

8. Oshkosh Correctional Institution – Health Services Unit Building 

  • Location – Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Size – 17000sft new construction, 12400sft remodel
  • Year – 2018 (phase 1) 2019 (phase 2)

The health care unit with its functional clinic spaces and long-term care unit is designed with the elements of path finding to make it easy for the patients and other visitors to move freely without any confusion. The patient treatment spaces are placed on either side of a double-loaded corridor with a security station on one end. The quality of space is further enhanced through natural lighting with clerestory openings.

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Cafeteria view at Oshkosh Correctional Institution. ©www.bwbr.com
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Centralized Dayroom at Oshkosh Correctional Institution- ©www.bwbr.com
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Corridor view at Oshkosh Correctional Institution. ©www.bwbr.com
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Security Station at Oshkosh Correctional Institution. ©www.bwbr.com

9. E. Brands New Corporate Headquarters / Anytime Fitness

  • Location – Woodbury, Minnesota
  • Size – 80000sft
  • Year – 2016

The office space was designed considering the mental well-being of its employees by adopting an open office plan with flexible furniture, to create an informal setting that encourages interaction and thus enhances the quality of space. The heart of the office space consists of a double-height common space with a wood-paneled staircase and curtain wall glazing.

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Conference room at Any time Fitness. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior Entrance view at Any time Fitness. ©www.bwbr.com
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Patio at Any time Fitness. ©www.bwbr.com

10. Pankalo Education Centre

  • Location – Lake Elmo, Minnesota
  • Size – 76000sft
  • Year – 2017

The education center is designed specifically for students with autism and emotional behavioral disorder. Hence the main design interventions focused on achieving human-centered safety features through the built environment to meet a safe learning environment. Each classroom was designed informally with openings through which students can connect to nature and set a calm atmosphere. The staff area is located in such a way that continuous monitoring of students can take place without affecting their everyday activities and promote their self-growth.

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Common Area – Pankalo Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Pankalo Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com
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View of Classroom at Pankalo Education Centre. ©www.bwbr.com

11. Saint Ambrose Catholic Church and School 

  • Location – Woodbury, Minnesota
  • Year – 2000
  • Size – 110000sft

The church houses worship and education and is built as an eight-sided sanctuary. Clerestory windows and stained glasses shower the Nave with natural light. The main feature of the church is the open to sky glass ceiling through which one can witness the bright blue sky that is created to achieve a heavenly aura.

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Exterior Facade Detail at St. Ambrose Catholic Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of St. Ambrose Catholic Church. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Worship Space at St Ambrose Catholic Church. ©www.bwbr.com

12. Hennepin Healthcare – Clinic and Specialty Centre

  • Location – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Size – 384000sft
  • Year – 2018

One of the biggest renovations and expansion hospital projects in Minneapolis houses one of the busiest trauma centers with 26 primary specialty clinics spread out on 6 floors. The building features a helistop placed at the top of the building to received trauma patients by air and is connected directly to the emergency department, operating rooms, and intensive care units. The helistop doubles the capacity to receive trauma patients and improves safety.

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Atrium Interiorsof Hennepin Healthcare. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Hennepin Healthcare. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Pediatrics’ Lobby – Hennepin Healthcare. ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior Post Operation Room – Hennepin Healthcare. ©www.bwbr.com

13. Infor Commons

  • Location – Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Size – 450000sft
  • Year – 1999

A 13-storied mixed-use building houses office tower with retail arcade, housing, and restaurants. The exterior structure encompasses an amalgamation of brick, stone, glass, and wood and is built in harmony with its surroundings. To connect the high-rise building to its surroundings, the base of the building is built like pedestrian arcades and visually connects with the streets. The top of the building is crowned with glass to emphasize the business symbolically.

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Conceptual Sketch of Infor Commons. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of Infor Commons. ©www.bwbr.com
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Facade details of Infor Commons. ©www.bwbr.com
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View of Infor Commons. ©www.bwbr.com

14. North Barstow Parking Structure

  • Location – Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Size – 4 level, 775 stall structure
  • Year – 2016

The post-tensioned structural system is located amidst housing development and offices and is built as a solution for increased parking requirements. To enhance the quality of a parking structure, an urban plaza is created with a mix of hardscapes and softscapes. The design intervention avoids narrow bottlenecks and allows free flow of traffic without any confusion.

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Entrance of North Barstow Parking Structure – ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior Detail North Barstow Parking Structure – ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View of North Barstow Parking Structure – ©www.bwbr.com
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Interior View of North Barstow Parking Structure – ©www.bwbr.com

15. Gustavus Adolphus College – new Warren and Donna Beck Academic Hall 

  • Location – St. Peter, Minnesota
  • Size –159030sft gross
  • Year – 2011

The hall is designed as a gathering space for students to collaborate outside the classrooms. The building features a three-storey atrium with an informal setting of movable furniture with dedicated rooms connecting the atrium. The quality of the space is enriched with maximum indoor daylighting. The structure is built with an energy-conscious design using alternate energy consumption through photovoltaic and solar thermal energy.

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Atrium Corridor – Gustavus Adolphus College.©www.bwbr.com
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Atrium View – Gustavus Adlphue College. ©www.bwbr.com
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Classroom Corridor – Gustavus Adolphus College. ©www.bwbr.com
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Exterior View – Gustavus Adolphus College. ©www.bwbr.com

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Pavana Rao A
Author

Pavana Rao A is an Architect and an Urban Designer by profession who values the concept of people-centric designs. With a mindset to broaden her horizon, she also aims to explore and express the field of Architecture through the medium of writing. 

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