City of Bloomington: Dwan Maintenance Building


Architectural, Commercial


Bloomington, MN

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Completed 2014

A maintenance building that shines on both the inside and the out.

Team: Shelter, Jorgenson Construction

Photos: Farm Kid Studios

This building demonstrates the City of Bloomington’s consistent commitment to attractive public spaces and high quality architecture. Most golf course maintenance buildings are usually relegated to the category of banal utility garages. Not so for Bloomington’s Dwan Golf Course. The original Dwan Maintenance Building’s structural integrity failed due to a heavy snow load. Shelter redesigned it to give staff members a light-filled and open workplace. In contrast to the nearly windowless original structure, the reimagined Dwan Maintenance Building expresses its beauty through the very elements that protect its generous windows from errant golf balls and glaring sunlight.

Tucked into a residential neighborhood, just north of the Minnesota River, Dwan Golf Course is known for its undulating greens and narrow, tree-lined fairways. Nestled between the 14th, 15th and 16th holes, the site is both picturesque and convenient. The City’s request for natural daylight and views led to a building with large windows in the office and lunchroom. A band of windows running the length of the workbench provides daylight and views in the maintenance space. Additional light comes from punched window openings and overhead doors along the west wall. The effect is sparkling and pleasant; however, the building is regularly hit by golf balls straying from the adjacent greens and tees.

The maintenance building has a screen wall assembly devised to protect the windows. They do this while still allowing controlled light in and provide for generous views out of the building. Galvanized wire mesh is mounted approximately four feet from the exterior wall to allow access to utilities and facilitate regular maintenance. Galvanized metal grating above adds protection from the occasional shanked tee shot. Wooden slats, made of exceedingly hard and stable Black Locust, provide additional screening and a geometric pattern to break up the height and volume of the building. The wood also adds warmth and