InterKOM

25 for 25

As part of our 25-year celebration, we chose 25 random projects we’ve completed and featured them here (with some thoughts from our staff). From parks to retail locations to award-winning projects, we wanted to give you a sense of the depth and range of our work.

Brady MuellerIt’s a great treat for me to look over these projects – some new, and some from years ago – and consider just how far we’ve come as a company. I find myself feeling awfully proud of the fine group of employees we have here. And I also find myself feeling awfully good about the future of the company.

As we’ve been pulling together the memories and images of the past 25 years – or, in my case, the past 23 – I’m again and again struck by just how blessed we’ve been. So many people have had such an impact here… employees, clients, consultants, vendors. We’ve tried hard to thank each and everyone, but no doubt we’ve missed someone. We hope you all know just how much we value your partnership and friendship.

Please join us in celebrating 25 amazing years as a company. Take a look at these projects. Click over to our “25 Years” page to check out our timeline and (first ever!) video. And, if you have a moment, drop a quick note of congratulations to my partners and friends Dan O’Brien and Jim Krech… these were the guys there at the beginning, and they’d love to hear from you.

25 years. Wow.

Brady Mueller


Pandora, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

“The project resulted in a refined, simple, and unique storefront design that was described by customers as ‘sophisticated.’” – Jon LeNoble

Joffe MediCenter, Minneapolis, MN

“This was a new Lasik eye, skin and body treatment clinic that opened here in Minnesota. We worked with an architect from New York who was a family friend of the Joffe family. It was definitely a team effort that resulted in a peaceful, tranquil and beautiful clinic. Best of all, when the project was completed I had Lasik surgery done!” – Laura Bauer

Starkey Laboratories, Eden Prairie, MN

“The addition had a unique design and in subtle ways reflected and reinforced many of the characteristics of the company and its products.” – Brian Riley

Gertens Greenhouses and Garden Center, Inver Grove Heights, MN

“Not many times in one’s life does a company such as ours have the opportunity to help a client achieve such a dramatic growth in their business as we did with the Gerten family. Seeing them grow from a once modest operation into the largest single-store independent garden center has been a tremendous feeling for us here at KOMA … we’re confident that the design of the retail center had at least a small part in this growth.” – Brady Mueller

CHS Corporate Headquarters Conference Room, Inver Grove Heights, MN

“There was a lot of creativity involved with this project, some obvious and some very subtle. It was the first project I worked on when I was interning at KOMA during college. It was so much fun to see the designs I helped develop come to life.” – Ashley Krech

Nickelodeon Universe, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

“I enjoyed working on this project because it allowed me to use a different part of my brain in the design process – the inner kid! It was fun to see the excitement on kids’ faces when the amusement park was re-opened for business. Being able to say I had a part in bringing enjoyment like that to people was very rewarding for me.” – Steve Iaria

International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49, Training Center, Hinckley, MN

“What thrilled me most about this project were the people from the Local 49ers. Gary Lindblad and Joe Ryan, the Local 49 representatives, were so much fun to work with … they were focused in their goals and driven with a passion for quality not seen in many people … they were a treat to have as a client. The whole process was a lot of fun.” – Brady Mueller

Steak ’N Shake Restaurant, Design Prototype, Locations Nationwide

“I like any project that mentions food. I keep hoping I will get a free meal someday!” – Jim Pluth

Relocation of Frank Gehry (designed) Guesthouse, Owatonna, MN

“Very rarely does an architect get to work on the physical relocation of a building, not to mention one designed by a world-renowned architect. What a treat this project has been.” – Marc DuBois

Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

“The fact that our client was both a comedian and a club owner made the project extra fun to work on. One of the more memorable experiences was working with a local artist to implement a large-scale custom backdrop behind the performance stage. As with architecture, the artwork started from a simple sketch from the artist. After that, being able to witness the artistic process all the way through installation was something I rarely get to see.” – Steve Iaria

CHS Corporate Headquarters – Lobby, Inver Grove Heights, MN

“This effort was memorable not just because it transformed the lobby and was a beautiful project, but also because there were so many challenges with existing elements. We were also asked, after presenting an initial design that was limited by specified stipulations, to throw out everything that had come before and design without the preexisting parameters. The end result is a globally-oriented, bright and welcoming space that clearly tells the story of the CHS family of businesses.” – Cindy Nagel

Rivertown Animal Hospital, Stillwater, MN

“This project is one of our first national award winning animal hospitals. Dr. Ginger Garlie and the KOMA team created many innovations in the design which support a new level of animal care. The success of our efforts was recognized by Veterinary Economics in 2009 with a national merit award. One of the biggest challenges aside from the veterinary technology was the political atmosphere of developing an animal hospital in Stillwater, Minnesota. We needed to educate the public at planning commissions and council meetings as to the current state of the art of veterinary medicine.” – Dan O’Brien

Citizens State Bank, Hudson, WI

“It was a pleasure to work with the architect on this project, Pat Giordana from BDH&Young. It is a very nice looking two story building and I get to see it every day.” – Matt Van Hoof

St. Paul Farmers Market, St. Paul, MN

“Both my mother and father grew up on farms and sold produce at the market. I started helping my dad sell produce at this market when I was 6 years old.” – Jim Krech

Cleveland Block Remodel, St. Paul, MN

“What makes it memorable for me is that I was working out of the St. Paul office at the time and could literally look out my window to see the existing buildings across the street.” – Marc DuBois

Moose Mountain, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

“This was a very challenging project, but I knew the theme of the end product was going to look great… plus it’s miniature golf!” – Brian Riley

Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital, Inver Grove Heights, MN

“This was one of the first animal hospitals that we designed which incorporated the hospital and the doctor’s residence on a very challenging site. The original 1989 project has gone through many expansions to accommodate the growth of a very successful veterinary practice. This project led KOMA to many more veterinary projects through positive referrals by Dr. Jim Winsor.” – Dan O’Brien

Mears Park Arch and Canopy, St. Paul, MN

“I enjoyed working with Ron Buelow structuring an arch and canopy that looked like it was built in the early 1900s”. – Jim Krech

Adams Spanish Immersion School Addition, St. Paul, MN

“The geometry, mix of construction materials and clerestory lighting provided challenges for the design team. However, each element was chosen for a reason, right down to the vibrant interior colors. This project continues to be a favorite due to the seamless integration of a complex addition on a small building site.” – Mike Lisowski

Great Clips “Relax” design prototype

“After retaining a retail-focused design group from out of state, GCI retained KOMA to translate and implement the prototype for a new salon image as designed by that firm. After the construction of three prototypical locations, the franchisee and corporate management deemed the design as inconsistent with the Great Clips Brand philosophy. Needing to begin again at ground zero, GCI retained KOMA to work with them, their franchisees and vendors to create a prototype that was consistent and representative of the brand. A year later Great Clips launched their Relax prototype which has been and continues to be rolled out nationally both in new locations and for remodels. It felt like the ‘local kid’ finally being recognized for talent and success.” – Cindy Nagel

Short Dance Studio, Inver Grove Heights, MN

“This project marked the first time I was a part of the interior design process. I was asked to pull finish options for paint and plastic laminate. It was exciting to go through different laminate books and match paint, and to see what the client chose in the end.” – Angie Rohlen

Gopher Resource, Eagan, MN

“It is an honor to be associated with a company built on high ideals, a commitment to excellence and a clear direction of where they want to go and how to get there. Their recycling facilities are among the finest in the country.” – Brady Mueller

Camden Pet Hospital, Minneapolis, MN

“This was one of the first veterinary clinics I’d done (with many to follow). It was such a learning process. I learned that you really have to get involved in your clients business and learn how they work and what they do. I was involved in all aspects of the project – space planning, finishes identification, construction documents and contract administration. Being that involved gave me a great background to manage additional projects in a very fascinating field.” – Laura Bauer

Little Caesars, Design Prototype, Locations Nationwide

“The Maple Grove location represents a bit of a milestone for us in that it is the 20th store for which we have issued permit documents. It represents a good team effort on many projects over several years.” – Jon LeNoble

American Girl, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

“Wedging a two story building into a corner of Nickelodeon Universe has many unique challenges <smile>.” – Matt Van Hoof

About Brady Mueller, AIA

Brady graduated cum laude from St. Olaf College in 1969 with a degree in art and with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 1977 with a degree in architecture. He became a partner in the firm in 1987.   What do you enjoy most about KOMA? I enjoy the people that I meet every day. […]

Read more »