The intersection of North Second Street and Second Avenue in Minneapolis’s North Loop is a point of historic importance. Located within the 19th-century portion of the city’s Warehouse Historic District, where design guidelines mandate that cladding for any new construction be composed of “one principal material,” the design for the multi-family rental development Second + Second would prove a unique challenge. Striking a balance between contemporary and timeless design, while adhering to the District’s distinct composition of narrow building faces and expansive industrial warehouses, the project team found a design language that was both homage and something altogether new.
Beginning with the fact that the six-story, 158-unit Second + Second is a full-height masonry building, which is uncommon for this construction type, the building’s exterior is clad in dark brick that shifts to bands of double rowlock between levels, complemented with metal and lighting accents. Evocative of its neighbors, a modern cornice expression defines Second + Second’s upper edge, using bricks that project out of plane to form a subtle braille-like pattern. Punched windows and recessed balconies further lend to the building’s modern yet quiet presence.
For residents of the market-rate apartment building, interior amenities include lounges, shared workspaces, and a Club Room on the sixth floor, which connects to an exterior stairway that accesses the 4,500-square-foot roof terrace. From atop the building, residents and guests can enjoy a 360-degree panorama of Downtown Minneapolis and the Mississippi River.