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Vandalia Glassworks — South St. Paul, MN

Established in 2015 in St. Paul, Vandalia Glassworks is an art glass studio owned and operated by local artists who specialize in both hot and cold glass-making techniques. The studio grew quickly in just a few short years and needed additional space to accommodate demand, as well as for expanded educational opportunities. To help transform and revitalize their new-to-them building on Concord Exchange in South St. Paul, Vandalia Glassworks turned to PlanForce.

In the new adaptive reuse design, the front façade was updated with modern styling and materials. Doors and windows were updated and relocated to accommodate the two separate tenant spaces within the building. In addition, the sidewalk was removed and replaced with planters and landscape beds. These changes, in conjunction with new outdoor seating, served to soften the streetscape and provide an amenity to the property and neighborhood, making it more pedestrian-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing.

The interior of the warehouse conversion was also completely renovated, and a new tenant space was created in the southeast corner of the building, in anticipation of attracting a new restaurant user. Within the Vandalia Glassworks space, there are several distinct functions. At the street side they have an art gallery that serves as exhibition space for local and guest artists, as well as retail space for the art created on site. The gallery opens to the street façade with large expanses of glass to engage the public and encourage them to explore the space further. On the opposite side of the gallery, there is a connection and views to the studio space, where the art is created.

The project was praised by City Council Member Lori Hansen as a good idea for the former Hitching Post Motorsports building and a benefit to the area:

I think it’s going to be a great asset to the city. It’s fun and it’ll be entertainment, as well as a cultural piece.

Lori Hansen, Council Member, South St. Paul

Vandalia Glassworks opened three years ago in the renovated Vandalia Tower — the former King Koil mattress factory that has become a destination for the artsy crowd — which was also designed by PlanForce. Other Vandalia Tower tenants include Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop, FilmNorth, Gremlin Theater, and Lake Monster Brewery.