Minneapolis, Minnesota

111 Washington Square


111 Washington Square, or “111”, was erected in 1987 and sits at the end of the skyway system for Minneapolis’ Central Business Corridor. Proximity to the Mississippi River and the vibrant North Loop brought the building to the attention of Shorenstein Properties. Purchased and renovated over the course of the last two years, “111” is a real estate success story offering the business community an alternative to the high real estate prices found along Nicollet Avenue.

ESG developed 8,000 SF to create a boutique tenant amenity lounge on the third floor, taking the former FBI Headquarters out of an 80’s beige-teal-mauve open office landscape and stripping it down to its raw concrete shell to become the launch pad for an approachable destination. Programmatically, owners wanted to offer informal meeting areas, café, and an outdoor patio. Design goals were developed to celebrate views, versatility and comfort and allow anyone to plug in technology anywhere. It can also accommodate events at the terrace catering bar while taking advantage of views of tree-lined Washington Avenue and the downtown skyline. All of this within a strict budget!

Stepping off the elevator, the outdoor terrace fireplace beyond is framed by glass. Directly ahead sits a lounge reminiscent more of a cool, urban hotel lobby than a corporate reception. Tumbled marble exterior panels became inspiration for perforated white metal structures in ceiling clouds and backlit “columns” flanking the terrace. To the left an intimate sunken fireplace lounge offers leather chairs, communal work tables, and comfy booths. To the right the café grab and go provides powered tables and dynamic lighting. Abundant daylight becomes a backdrop for sensual and approachable materials throughout all of the spaces:  tailored millwork, textured tile grazed with light, overhead ceiling elements that provide shelter, soft rugs and textured upholsteries that invite you to stay and play.