Sometimes, the test of an architect's skills comes not from the new project that's created, but through the close blending of something new with existing structures. That's the story with a small but significant safety project for the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
Using bronze and stainless steel, railings covering four floors needed updates to prevent small children from getting through. The two to three week job called for 600 pieces. Work was performed at night.
"They wanted something seamless," said CNH Architects Principal Wayne Hilbert. Vertical stainless bars were added to the railing system with small decorative caps, top and bottom, to mesh well with the existing design. This approach eliminated the need for welding inside the sensitive environment of the museum, Hilbert explained.
"There were (museum) staff who didn't know it had happened," said Hilbert. "It was a clever solution that turned out great and the response has been fabulous- kids won’t fit through."