The Science Mill was recently selected as a recipient of a 2018 AIA Minneapolis Merit Award. The award recognizes projects that tell a story of excellence beyond design; emphasize public interest design; and embrace the varied forces that shape a building.
The Science Mill, which opened in 2015, re-imagines a community landmark – a historic feed mill built in 1880 as a steam gristmill and cotton gin – into a gathering place for the community and a forum for science exploration. Tom DeAngelo, FAIA, LEED AP, principal at Alliiance, a firm based in Minneapolis, led the architectural design of the nonprofit museum.
“We are thrilled to receive this award. It recognizes our belief that the museum needed to be a part of the existing community” says Science Mill founder and president Bonnie Baskin, who moved to Johnson City from Minneapolis in 2011 with her husband Bob Elde.
The Science Mill’s architectural design involved retaining and renovating the original mill buildings and grain silos, which now house cutting-edge, interactive science exhibits. A new addition near the center of the site and the southern end of the historic mill created a nexus that physically links the separate buildings together to create an environment for science discovery.
“The design was conceived not as a contrast between new and old but as the dynamic evolution of the mill from a place of industrial production to a place that can produce science leaders for a new generation,” says architect Tom DeAngelo.
In addition to the Merit Award, the Science Mill received the honor of being selected for the 2018 Michael L. Schrock Award of Distinction, an additional honor awarded to the project that most embodies Michael's 7 Rules of Architecture:
1. Know where you are from.
2. Know who you are.
3. Know why you are.
4. Respect your benefactors.
5. Honor the environment.
6. Architecture must serve those who occupy it.
7. There is beauty in functional, economical, safe, environmentally responsible, owner-driven architecture.