General Mills Corporate Headquarters Campus


General Mills 35-acre Corporate Campus, originally designed by S.O.M. Architects, is a statement of 1950s modernism juxtaposed against a pastoral landscape. For the General Mills site, oslund.and.assoc.`s desire was to create the illusion that the new buildings were floating within the landscape, touching a motionless plane of water. In the process of construction, many pieces of sculpture needed to be relocated. The design created a crisp, clean and organic canvas for the relocated art that was a natural extension of the existing outdoor gallery. Places for employee respite and interaction, as well as large gatherings were a strong desire of the client. In response, two courtyards on two different levels were designed to act as reflections of each other and address the programmatic needs of the site. The manicured turf ground plane of the upper courtyard is edged with planting beds that have been created to save existing trees and as locations for site sculpture. In the center of the courtyard, a linear band of Siberian irises, broken by bands of Bluestone, marches towards the edge of the space - dying into the glass and metal facade of a new two-story link between office buildings. The lower courtyard is a mirror image of the upper courtyard. The lower bluestone terrace acts as an outdoor dining place for employees, as well as a gathering space for larger events. Mirroring the band of Siberian irises is a channel of moving water, which emerges from the lower story of the link as a waterfall. Stainless steel bridges cross over the water feature, mirroring the bands of bluestone above. The tree-lined water feeds into a large pond, where its trajectory is reinforced with underwater fountains creating a strong linear band of bubbles moving into the pond. This new picturesque landscape is a pleasure to view from the executive offices, the pedestrian link, or the dining terrace.

Constructed, 2004

Old - ASLA Merit Award, National in 2004Old - ASLA Minnesota Chapter Design Award in 2004