October 10, 2019

Studio BV Honors Female Entrepreneurship in Renovating Minneapolis’s Kickernick Building

Open areas include Martin Brattrud sofas, Herman Miller tables and shelves, and Rich Brilliant Willing pendants. Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography.

More than a century ago, the 120,000-square-foot Kickernick Building in Minneapolis housed two female-owned businesses, one that manufactured leather boots and coats and another that made women’s apparel and lingerie. Studio BV founder and CEO Betsy Vohs wanted to honor this history while readying the building for the 21st century by creating commercial office space with an open lobby for meetings and offices upstairs.

“We used that notion of making, craft, and textiles to create textures in the spaces,” she says. This extended into the use of leather in the screen walls and the custom felt wall design at the back of the space, both of which were created from the original patterns for the coats produced in the building.

Screens of leather strips custom fabricated by local Atom Pechman form a hallway at the entrance, with floors of custom finished wide plank white oak by WD Floors. Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography.

While getting daylight deep into the enormous space was a challenge, extensive artwork—all created by women weavers, sculptors, and painters—brightens the view. “Office buildings anchor neighborhoods,” Vohs says, noting that this project goes further. “It reimagines what common spaces can be if we think about them like collectors of people, objects, and ideas.”

Cascade Coil Drapery defines another work area, furnished with an Allermuir sofa, TON chairs, and a table by Herman Miller, all upon a Design Materials rug. Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography.
A series of copper sculptures by local artist Tia Keobounpheng hangs behind the custom reception desk of leather panels and lacquered wood, topped with quartz; the pendant is by Apparatus. Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography.
Muuto and Mattiazzi chairs pull up to a Nucraft conference table, below pendants by Allied Maker. Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography.
Bathrooms lined in subway tiles include showers and faucets by Delta. Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography.

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