Phase 1 in the complete restoration and reuse of Valspar’s Building 4 has just kicked off!  Valspar’s campus is comprised of four (4) buildings.  Buildings 1 through 3 are now utilized by Valspar for laboratories and office support space.  Building #4 was formerly known and used as the Administration Building by Valspar. The building has been vacant since Valspar moved its headquarters further downtown.   Valspar is renovating this building for their North American Research and Test Lab capabilities, reusing this facility will stimulate a consolidation into one campus; named the Valspar Applied Science and Technology (VAST) Center. Building 4 is in reality comprised of two adjoining buildings, at that time MN Linseed Oil Paint Company, both portions very rich in history and charm. The first is a 5-story building that was constructed in 1903 with a wood timber structural frame, wood decking and load bearing masonry exterior walls.  This building incorporates 88,266 GSF.  The second is a 3-story building that was constructed in 1912 and has a poured in place concrete framing system, one way concrete slabs and a load-bearing masonry exterior.  This building incorporates 82,374 GSF.  A common load-bearing masonry wall separates the two buildings which includes openings that pass between the two buildings.  This wall was the former exterior east wall of the 5-story building before the 1912 addition; the buildings are now used and seen as one building.   Building 4 is programed in two parts, the research and test laboratories in the 3-story portion and office support and storage functions in the 5-story; all proposed in a multi-phase build-out.

Simultaneously as the design team worked with Valspar on the design and programing of the building, the team also worked to complete a SHPO -Historic Preservation Certification Application.  The goal is to have this building including the connecting building #1 registered on the National Historic Preservation List. Valspar saw the opportunity to restore a historic building that has a deep history with the city and with Valspar into a world class R&D faciltiy.

The overview of the work to be included in the next year of construction include: The exterior portion –the update of the building’s envelope; the building’s exterior will be cleaned, some re-pointing and replacement of deteriorated brick and crumbling grout.  Damaged terra cotta will be fixed while new structural supports will be installed for the highly decorative cornice.  Completely new roof system, and complete restoration of all the wood and steel windows.  The outdoor parking lot will be revitalized, parking spaces will be restriped and updated landscape is anticipated.  Consistent with R&D standards, the inside will have plenty of natural light, modernized lab spaces and updated building systems.  The goal here is to provide efficient staff work and lab areas, create accessibility spaces appropriate to the lab functions and energize the overall interior; keeping the balance between the rich historic industrial shell and the innovative technology and knowledge inside.