Wells Fargo Center+ expand detail
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
1.6 million square feet / 149,000 square meters
Wells Fargo Center is a true American skyscraper, designed to capture the spirit of the city in its architecture. Originally known as the Norwest Tower, this 57-story building was commissioned to replace the Northwestern Bank Building, which was destroyed by fire in 1982.
Multiple steps at the tower’s top give the building a distinctive silhouette and steps at the base relate it to pedestrian scale. There are two main entrances: one leading to a large lobby and one that opens onto a five-story rotunda. A central skylight and many windows transform the rotunda into a luminous, glowing space. Great care was taken to reuse elements from the old bank building, including chandeliers in the rotunda and elevator lobbies, cast rails on the second floor balconies, sculptured bronze plaques on the main floor, and commemorative medallions in the rotunda.
The tower’s two major setbacks, similar in height to adjacent buildings, are defined by projecting octagonal glass rooms. Decorative finials also mark each setback. The building’s skin incorporates amber stone and thin vertical bands of white marble to produce a feeling of warmth, which is particularly welcome during long winters. The skybridge across Marquette Avenue, designed in collaboration with artist Siah Armajani, is filled with color and light.
Wells Fargo Center received the 1989 Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence for Outstanding Large– Scale Office Building, a 1989 Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks, 1990 Award of Excellence from AIA Connecticut and the 1994 Office Building of the Year Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association.
Since its completion, the Wells Fargo Center earned two designations for energy efficiency. In 2010, the building received a Gold EB rating under the LEED system for existing buildings. Wells Fargo Center has also earned the Energy Star label every year since 1999. With an Energy Star score of 93, Wells Fargo Center is 49 percent more energy efficient than the national average office building.