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MINNEAPOLIS-Michael Graves, the renowned architect who recently has gained attention for designing household objects for Minneapolis-based discount retailer Target Corp., has been hired by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and The Children’s Theatre Company to explorerenovation and expansion design projects at their buildings’ south Minneapolis location, where they share a campus. Although institutions share some of the same needs, such as expanded education facilities, visitor and audience amenities, lobby enhancement, parking, additional office space, and storage, they also have needs very specific to each institution.

The project is expected not to exceed the present boundaries of the campus.

“It seemed clear to us that the goals for our institutions and our community were so totally in concert, that we should discuss a mutual architect,” says Dr. Evan M. Maurer, director and president of TheMinneapolis Institute of Arts.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts needs more gallery and library space for the existing and growing collections as well as new and expanded computer facilities for visitors. The Institute is looking at building a 100,000-sf, three-story addition on the west side of its campus.

The Children’s Theatre’s aims to build a 40,000-sf addition for flexible theater space, classrooms and rehearsal space between its present theater and the art institute’s parking ramp. The Children’s Theatre will ask the Minnesota Legislature for $12 million, a little less than half of the expected cost of the project.

Officials hope to have the new facility ready within four years. Earlier this year, it hired the San Francisco firm of Holt Hinshaw Architects to analyze the program, site and concept.

“Both institutions realized that Michael Graves was uniquely qualified for the work ahead, and so proceeding jointly was the obvious and exciting next step,” says Teresa Eyring, managing director of The Children’s Theatre Co.

Graves will work with local Minneapolis firm R.S.P. Architects, Ltd., to act as local architect. Graves’ firm, Michael Graves & Associates, Inc., was recently appointed by the boards of both institutions.

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