Hyatt Regency Bloomington Central Station is an eight-story, 303 room hotel located on a mixed-use development site. The hotel features 17,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space, including an 8,250 square-foot ballroom. The hotel will also include a three-meal restaurant, a bar and lounge, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a market and coffee shop, and business center.
The hotel was part of a series of transit-oriented projects located at Bloomington Central Station, a 50-acre redevelopment site on the METRO Blue (Hiawatha) Line in Bloomington, MN. The project broke ground in fall of 2014 and opened in early 2016.
Nearly 500 precast pieces were used on the project, including insulated wall panels and hollowcore. The 10” thick insulated exterior fascia precast concrete system used featured a white, acid-etched precast concrete façade that matches the hotel, black architectural cladding and buff exteriors at the ground level that will stand up to harsh Minnesota winters.
The exterior architectural features included four different colors (white, charcoal, buff and burnt orange) with a sandblast and acid etch finish used on all four colors. This combination offered eight different textures and colors. The exterior profile jumps in and out to create shadows that further showcase the buildings unique design.
The designers took a great deal of time thinking about the façade of the building and ended up using a variety of Minnesota related metaphors to reach the final design, including the following:
- The buff colored precast panels on the guestroom tower is patterned to be a metaphor for both a harvest basket and autumn farm fields seen from the air
- The charcoal grey basket weave patterned precast on the guestroom tower is meant to metaphorically resemble springtime farm fields seen from the air
- Silver tinted square glass windows of the guestroom tower is a metaphor for Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes as seen from the air
- The white precast frame feature is meant to be a metaphor for a container as well as that of the winter time snow (especially on the west façade)
- The reddish/tan horizontal banded precast around the first floor is meant as a metaphor for the geological history of the Minnesota river valley
- The polished black stone at the entry is a metaphor for some of the oldest basalt stone formations found in the St. Croix River Valley as well as a metaphor for ripples of waves on a river or lake.
The use of precast products allowed the project to be completed on time, on budget, and within the client’s durability requirements.
- 12” Hollowcore Plank 141 pieces 11,958 sq. ft.
- 10” Wall Panels 3”-3”-4” 346 pieces, 78,488 sq. ft.
Given the proximity to the airport, noise was a major consideration when designing the exterior envelope. One of the best ways to mitigate sound is through mass. Insulated concrete precast panels were used to provide this mass.
“Hyatt Regency Bloomington Central Station is a key part of the city’s vision for the Bloomington South Loop District,” said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead. “Bloomington Central Station is a wonderful model for the potential of transit-oriented development, and we’re proud to be the site of such a unique redevelopment effort.”
The full-service hotel serves as the center point of the growing work-live-connect-play community currently anchored by the HealthPartners corporate office campus, Reflections Condominiums, and a two-acre central park. It will cater primarily to business travelers. Positioned between the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America, it offers a convenient and fast access to both of these destinations, as well as to downtown Minneapolis, via light rail.
“The team decided to use precast for this hotel for a variety of reasons; with the proximity of the hotel to the airport the decibel levels were a concern, precast was an excellent solution with its ability to buffer sound. Speed of construction was also a factor as precast is faster than any other building material we considered. We also looked at the use of precast to help control and contain the costs of the project. Using precast reduced the number of trades needed for the project and reduced the construction schedule resulting in reduced labor costs.
“It was also important to build and design a structure of substance due to the high quality brand of the hotel and its guests.”
-Trace Jacques, Partner, ESG Architects
The use of an insulated precast wall systems allowed for minimal interior furring. Special attention was paid to the connection of the precast and the cast-in-place frame to assure all connections would be hidden with the furring.
Special consideration, planning and permit application were identified early and communicated to the Mpls/St. Paul International Airport authorities regarding the height restriction concerns with the project in close proximity to airport runway traffic.
A master plan consideration was given to this project considering it was the first project to be constructed in this area of the development. Precast offered a wide range of colors, textures and details that could compliment the future design of neighboring buildings.
Both short-term and long-term parking strategies needed to be vetted with the overall master plan and adjacent facilities. As a result of the precaster being brought in early for consulting design, the team was able to identify crane set up locations and durations to better plan for the disruptions of the surrounding parking lots.
- The 10” insulated wall panel system minimized the furring on the inside of the building.
- Prefabrication of forming systems off site maximized productivity when placing the concrete structure.
- Implementation of the Last Planner System scheduling protocols assisted the project to be completed ahead of schedule.
High Performance Attributes
The precast concrete insulated wall panels provided continuous insulation with an effective RValue of R-18. The envelope system also provided a continuous air-barrier and a vapor barrier.
The precast members used provided an excellent alternative to traditional stick-built or cavity wall construction methods. The precast concrete material used on this project integrated easily with the other systems and inherently provided the versatility, efficiency, and resiliency needed to meet the multi-hazard requirements and long-term demands of high performance structures.
Precast provided an excellent durable and resilient option for this hotel as hotels can often take a lot of abuse from constant guest turnover. The precast option allowed the hotel to be built quickly and therefore start receiving revenue sooner. The precast members used also provided excellent aesthetic and structural versatility allowing designers to meet project goals in addition to providing improved energy efficiency, outstanding sound insulation, and inherent resiliency and protection for the hotel guests.