Heritage Architecture Studio, LLC
Revitalizing communities with inspired building reuse
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Carleton College Olin Hall

Olin Hall - Screen Wall Condition Assessment

Client: Carleton College
Northfield, Minnesota

Background and Issues

Olin hall was built in 1960 and was designed by the famous Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki. It is one of five buildings on the Carleton College Campus designed by Yamasaki. The screen wall is precast concrete, which is tied together with metal tubes and grout. It is cantilevered from the building on poured in place concrete beams. At each level of the screen is a narrow walkway that provides shading and maintenance access for the windows. Deterioration of the screen was first studied in 1983 by another firm.


We were brought in to re-evaluate the screen wall conditions and to make recommendations for its repair and maintenance. After reviewing the original drawings and previous assessment, we inspected all of the screen walls, including each beam. We discovered that the screen wall itself was in remarkably good condition, with very little additional deterioration. The beams supporting the screen showed considerable deterioration. We removed the loose concrete from one beam to reveal the rebar, which was in good condition.  Based on these findings, we suggested repairs to the beams. 

Heidi Y. Granke was the project manager for this project while at Miller Dunwiddie Architecture.