BY HANNAH WAGENER
Living in Edina means being surrounded by people who are passionate about local sports. Student athletes, parent coaches and everyone in between want to make the most out of our fleeting Minn. sports seasons. Local facilities help make some of that action happen and architects Nick Sperides and Eric Reiners of Sperides Reiners Architects are behind some of the best-known sports related buildings in town.
“We’re facilitators of our clients’ dream and vision, stewards of that,” Sperides says. The architect has been connected to the Edina community since growing up here, playing through the hockey system and graduating from Edina East High School. Now a coach for Edina hockey, Sperides heard through the grapevine about an opportunity to design the Hornets’ Nest at Braemar Arena.
“I take it as a great honor to be involved in the hockey program in Edina,” Sperides says. “It was my home away from home, I spent many hours there as a kid.”
Parents of some high school athletes on the team reached out to Sperides to get his perspective on the project. Soon after, the Sperides Reiners Architects team was officially on the job.
“Design always starts with asking our clients a lot of questions about needs, goals, wishes and dreams,” Sperides says. Once those are put into place, the team looks for the best way to allocate space, stay in budget and uphold accessibility and usability, all while keeping the look within the Edina aesthetic.
“We have to develop our projects like we’re residents of Edina,” Reiners says. “They’re very serious about maintaining a particular level of design and usability.”
Sperides credits the parents of those in the hockey program for having the initiative to pursue renovations.
As a hockey coach, Sperides has seen the community embrace the space firsthand. “There’s no instant gratification, it takes a lot of time, but the response has been very favorable, so many of my friends and colleagues in the hockey world see the facility and speak very highly of it,” Sperides says.
The team at Sperides Reiners Architects also worked with the Edina Parks & Recreation department to design both the West Rink renovation and golf course clubhouse renovation at Braemar.
In total, Sperides Reiners Architects has worked on over 20 projects in Edina, the biggest now being the Twin Cities Orthopedic building in the crosstown area. The team partnered with Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate for the project; president Dean Williamson has been working with Sperides for close two decades.
Another Edina native, Williamson has seen the work these architects have brought to the community firsthand.
“Braemar is a perfect example of Nick’s company. Nick’s got a love for the community and love for hockey, so when that need and opportunity came up, no matter what’s on their plate, they take it on,” Williamson says. “They choose projects that make a lot of sense and are near and dear to their hearts.”
Sperides and Reiners both attended the University of Minnesota to study architecture before meeting at a fortuitous lunch. Since then, Sperides says they haven’t had a moment when they weren’t congruent with each other. It seems even from a young age, they were already agreeing when it comes to creativity.
“Some little kids get coloring books and I always asked for blank paper,” Sperides says as Reiners agrees. “Coloring books were other peoples’ rules."
Article originally appeared in the September 2018 Edina Magazine issue. https://edinamag.com/building-edina-project-designs-landmark-city