MINNEAPOLIS, August 3, 2020—Rochester Public Utilities, located in Rochester and designed by TKDA is the recipient of the 2020 AIA Minnesota 25 Year Award.


The project was led by Dean Johnson, AIA, architect and project manager; Rich Gray, landscape architect; Lon Fiedler, mechanical engineer; Tom Stoneburner, structural engineer; and John Denis, electrical designer. The Boldt Company was the general contractor on the project.


Established by the American Institute of Architects Minnesota in 1981, the prestigious 25 Year Award annually recognizes one exemplary architectural project that stands the test of time. The award recognizes completed building projects—either individual buildings or groups of buildings—completed at least 25 but not more than 50 years ago, designed by firms with architects registered and practicing professionally in Minnesota. 


The complex was designed to bring all the Rochester Public Utilities staff together under one roof, while protecting critical operations infrastructure, employing state-of-the-art energy-efficient systems, and providing daylight, views, and comfort to create a positive working environment. The campus is significant for its innovation in design, engineering, resilience, and energy‑efficiency systems, many of which were groundbreaking at the time of its design in 1985.


The 115,000‑square‑foot facility has five distinct components: public lobby; adjacent tornado‑resistant operations command center; large administrative office area; warehouse; and indoor vehicle storage and repair. The 35-acre site includes a beautiful cast-concrete canopy for service vehicles; separate visitor and employee parking, and an outdoor material storage area. Over the years, the public lobby was modified, infilling a portion of the original open space with service counters and replacing the overhead monitors’ clear glazing with translucent panels, as well as expanding the office space on the facility’s north side.


The 2020 AIA Minnesota 25 Year Award jury included leading Minnesota architects Bartlett Baker, FAIA; Jim Larson, AIA; Jean Rehkamp Larson, AIA; Samantha Turnock Mendiola, AIA; and Jill Vowels, AIA.


The jury was impressed by the cutting-edge sustainability and resilience features of the complex, as well as its adaptability to meet the changing needs of employees and the public. They noted the beautiful daylighting and sense of welcome in lobby and office spaces, and that the facility performs well in many measures of the AIA Framework for Design Excellence.


Mr. DJ Heinle will receive the award at the annual AIA Minnesota Awards Celebration on December 4, 2020. Learn more about the 25 Year Award here


The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, founded in 1892, is dedicated to strengthening our communities, improving our built environment and providing exceptional design. For more information on the organization and Minnesota architectural firms, reference ourwebsite.