A Formerly Cold, Stone Lobby Now Invites Tenants and Others to Interact and Collaborate

AT&T Tower, lobby, Metamorphosis Awards, NELSON Worldwide

After being part of a design competition, NELSON Worldwide was retained to provide various services for AT&T Tower, a 33-story tower located in downtown Minneapolis. AT&T Tower’s 25 businesses employ more than 1,700 people and an additional 4,000 people pass through the skyway and lobby levels each day. The main driver of the project was to refresh the lobby because of high foot traffic at the entry point. Ultimately, the update garnered NELSON Worldwide an Honorable Mention in the Interior category of retrofit’s Metamorphosis Awards.


NELSON Worldwide delivered the project with an integrated team, bringing all consultants and vendors on early, similar to a design-build approach.

The client challenged the team to constantly achieve more value throughout the duration of the project. For example, the original design included a conference center, which was taken out mid-project, then added back in. Despite the changes, the team still was able to keep costs under budget.

The client’s primary focus was to retain current tenants and appeal to a newer, more mobile workforce through innovative design solutions and rebranding. In response, NELSON Worldwide created an updated plan with various spaces for tenants and visitors to enjoy, including communal work and gathering spaces for tenants on separate floors.

For instance, the lobby and second-level skyway have more than 100 different seating options, including high-top and diner-height tables, benches, booths, comfy chairs and a large L-shaped couch around a cozy fireplace. Books on the shelves in the lobby are not just for decoration; they are part of the building’s library.

In addition, an organic, fair-trade coffee vendor, Peace Coffee, is positioned inside the main entrance. Open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., tenants can grab their morning cup of coffee on the way up to their suite or stop down for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

LED lighting is used throughout the main lobby, skyway and elevator lobbies for energy efficiency at a savings of 6,754 kWh annually.

Tenants have exclusive access to the conference center located in the lobby. The conference center is equipped with technology and presentation capabilities for all types of meetings. The mail center also is located in the lobby for convenience, and a touchscreen building directory is located near each eleva- tor bank, allowing visitors to search companies and individuals through user-friendly navigation. Directories also supply information about weather, traffic, building events, building sustainability practices and more.

By bringing tenants and neighbors together and encouraging interaction, the lobby’s atmosphere is a warmer and more inviting space.

Retrofit Team


OWNER: ASB Real Estate Investments



GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Crawford Merz Construction

FURNITURE: Fluid Interiors


PAINT: Snowbound from Sherwin-Williams

CARPET: Near & Far Collection from Interface

TILE: Tomei in Canvas from Lunada Bay Tile and Quarry in Arid Gray from Daltile

LIGHTING: Focal Point

VINYL WALLCOVERING: Herring from Maharam

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