Top Projects of 2021: IDS Crystal Court Renovation

By: Frank Jossi, Finance & Commerce

Last refreshed 30 years ago, Accesso wanted to update the iconic Crystal Court, located at the famed IDS Center in Minneapolis, while maintaining the elements that make such a special part of downtown Minneapolis.

Designed as part of the IDS Center complex, the Crystal Court sits in the middle of the four interlocking buildings and at a central point in downtown Minneapolis. “We thought about how we would maintain all of the elements present in the previous renovation but bring them into the modern-day while trying to be respectful of the architecture and mindful of the place that the Crystal Court plays in the city’s fabric,” said Accesso general manager Deb Kolar.

Kolar said trees, water and seating would remain central to the court. The black olive trees which once sat on the Crystal Court floor in containers were replaced by 12 new Ficus trees that sit below the floor, allowing them to eventually grow as tall as 20 feet to form a tall canopy of greenery. “We’re creating that outdoor park feel with big, full trees,” Kolar said.

Accesso replaced the fountain with water cascading from above with a reflecting infinity pool that allows visitors to look down and see the building’s architecture and sky. White benches and seats around planters were replaced with patio tables and chairs. Black 3-D printed seating, composed of plant-based biopolymers combined with wood pulp from sawmills, fills out the rest of Crystal Court’s sitting area.

The space “is getting used as it was originally intended,” she said, with people holding meetings, eating lunch and hanging out.

Kolar worked closely with tenants during the renovation. Closed-off areas displayed murals done by Juxtaposition Arts, with some still displayed in retail storefronts. Everyone who uses the Crystal Court seems pleased with the new look. “There were some thoughtful changes that were made,” she said. “It was subtle, but the impact has been tremendous.”

The full story can be found here.

IDS Crystal Court Renovation

Address: 80 S. 8th St., Minneapolis

Project cost: $4.9 million

Project size: 13,500 square feet

Owner: Accesso

Contractor: Greiner Construction

Architect: Perkins&Will

Engineer: Dunham (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing); MBJ (Structural)

Consultant: New History