T3 Minneapolis

The Emergence of Wood in Modern Office Design

The first major multi-story U.S. office building to be constructed of wood in the last 100 years, T3 is Hines’ prototype for the use of mass timber in office developments. The inspiration for T3’s design came from the vintage brick and timber buildings in the nearby Warehouse Historic District, complementing rather than recreating them. T3 offers all the benefits of modern construction while maintaining the charm and the “cool factor” that appeal to many of today’s urban office tenants.

The need to continually recruit the best and the brightest, coupled with the desire to fit more workers into smaller spaces, presents employers with a dilemma. T3 (Timber, Transit and Technology) addresses both goals by handling space programming as dense as 100 square feet per person, while providing employees with an authentic and warm yet productive environment.

T3 uses the only structural material that comes from a renewable resource.

Bob Pfefferle, project development director, Hines

“T3 uses the only structural material that comes from a renewable resource. With timber beams, it has the desirable aesthetic of an old warehouse, but solves all the problems of energy efficiency, acoustics and light. No one has done anything like this,” said Bob Pfefferle, project development director of Hines Minneapolis.

T3 is the result of a collaboration involving Hines, Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture and Minneapolis-based DLR Group. A two-year global research effort focused on modern wood construction led Hines to the perfect design partners for the development.

Lobby and stairway
Caption Lobby and stairway

“We hired Michael Green because of his timeless, authentic modern designs and deep experience with wood projects,” said Steve Luthman, senior managing director in Hines’ Midwest U.S. Regional Office. Michael Green added, “T3 is a modern interpretation of a historic design that reflects and enhances the neighborhood.”

We hired Michael Green because of his timeless, authentic modern designs and deep experience with wood projects.

Steve Luthman, senior managing director, Hines

Located amid the fast-growing North Loop District of downtown Minneapolis, T3 is adjacent to Target Field Station, the city’s central multi-modal transportation hub serving the METRO Blue and Green lines and Northstar Commuter Rail. Overlooking the Cedar Lake Trail, the building also provides quick access to the downtown pedestrian skywalk system and to Target Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins.

Open floor beam detail
Caption Open floor beam detail

The first WiredScore pre-certified building in Minneapolis, T3 provides a full array of amenities and sustainable features to enhance the tenant experience. Certified LEED® Gold, the building includes more than 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, a 10,000-plus-square-foot amenity area that includes a fitness center, a robust social collaboration workspace, over 100 stalls of bike parking and an expansive rooftop patio. It also features extended window heights to provide abundant natural daylighting plus a proprietary design solution for the wood floor system to greatly enhance acoustical performance.

Completed in November 2016, the project is part of a three-phase master-planned vision by Hines. In partnership with the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, Hines developed T3 and the adjacent Dock Street Flats apartment building. Phase three will be a mixed-use development consisting of residential, office and retail components, as well as green space.

With its innovative approach to modern office structures and attractive sustainable design, T3 adds a great, tenant-friendly option to those who want the best of the old with the best of the new in downtown Minneapolis. Hines has replicated this innovative building prototype in Atlanta, Denver, Melbourne and Toronto with plans to expand to other markets.

Fun Facts:

  • It takes just 15 minutes for U.S. and Canadian forests to grow the amount of wood used in T3.
  • T3 will take the equivalent of 996 cars off the road for a year due to its wood construction.
  • To sustain forests, T3’s construction uses young trees instead of old growth trees.

For more information, visit t3NorthLoop.com

Photography Credit: Ema Peter
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