James I Swenson Civil Engineering Building

Interior Architecture Award Submission

The design of interior spaces of the UMD Civil Engineering Building reinforces the new program's pedagogical emphasis on hands-on-learning.

Transparent laboratories alllow casual views into ongoing experimentation. Exposed structural connections and building systems encourage students to learn by observation. Materials were selected and used to illustrate civil engineering principles. Examples include:

Glass used as a load bearing deck for the mirador over the hydrology lab;

Gabion walls filled with taconite, the rock that contains iron ore, which is the economic engine of the NE Minnesota Iron Range;

Storm water roof scuppers exposed inside the building and constructed of timber reclaimed from pickle barrels;

Exposed weld plates and other hardware on the precast concrete panels of the structural lab;

At-grade floor slabs polished and exposed; and

Exposed concrete pans for the UFAD system raised floor.

Transparency between classrooms and labs and between labs and the student lounge was created to build community and teamwork among students in the fledgling program.

Furniture was selected for durability, flexibility and loungability.

Ross Barney Architects
Associate Architect
Stanius Johnson Architects
University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Dunham Engineering
  • MBJ Consulting Structural Engineers
  • MSA Professional Services, Inc.
  • Oslund Associates
General contractor
Stahl Construction
Duluth, MN