University of Minnesota - Duluth: Labovitz School of Business

Duluth, Minnesota / United States of America


This new business school is located on University of Minnesota's Duluth campus. The existing campus is a single internally connected system as a response to the harsh winters. A central spine connects all departments, but provides few views to the outside and allows minimal natural light. The business school connects to this central spine of the campus, providing a new campus entry and allowing for natural light and views for the spaces within.

Program elements are organized along a top-lit spine which unifies all teaching floors and contains breakout spaces for the classrooms and auditorium. Programmatic components are differentiated on the exterior through their massing and materials. A two-story base of instructional space is clad in weathering steel. Above the base is a curving concrete bar containing faculty offices which extends over an entry drive to define the new northern campus gateway. The material palette evokes the industrial history of Duluth and its waterfront structures.

A convenient pedestrian and vehicular flow is accommodated at the midblock point of street edge. A grand rooftop observatory terrace is located adjacent to the main south entry.

By maximizing daylight and providing optimal solar orientation, the project received LEED Gold certification.

Architect of record

Ralph Johnson
Perkins + Will
330 N. Wabash Avenue, Suite 3600
Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Phone: 312-755-0770
Fax: 312-755-0775

Associate architect

Ken Johnson
Stanius Johnson Architects (SJA)
1831 East 8th Street
Duluth, MN 55812, United States
Phone: 218-724-8570
Fax: 218-724-8717

General contractor

Mark Walch
Oscar J. Boldt Construction
1001 Tall Pine Lane
Cloquet, MN 55720, United States
Phone: 218-879-5290
Fax: 218-879-5290

Consultant 1

James Giefer
Gausman & Moore
10 West Superior Street, Suite 232
Duluth, MN 55802, United States
Phone: 218-722-2555
Fax: 218-722-9306

Consultant 2

Paul Johnson
Meyer, Borgman and Johnson, Inc. (MBJ)
10 West Superior Street, Suite 232
Duluth, MN 55802, United States
Phone: 218-722-3718

Consultant 3

Misa Inoue
Oslund and Associates
115 Washington Ave N
Chicago, IL 60610, United States
Phone: 312-363-7348

Consultant 4

Mike Sondag
Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH)
831 East 2nd Street
Duluth, MN 55805, United States
Phone: 218-722-0547

Consultant 5

Kate O’Reilly
Electronic Interiors, Inc. (EII)
1310 Sibley Memorial Highway
Mendota, MN 55150, United States
Phone: 651-292-1035


James Steinkamp
Steinkamp Photography
923 Oakwood Terrace
Hinsdale, IL 60521, United States
Phone: 312-735-5333