University of Minnesota Duluth

Distinguished Building Award Submission

The University of Minnesota Duluth campus is a series of connected buildings along a north-south axis. The resulting mega-building succeeds in protecting from harsh winters, but fails to create separate identities for the various schools and limits natural light and views. This project for a new business school shifts to an east-west axis, freeing itself from the original structure to provide natural light and views and define a new quadrangle between the academic buildings to the east and residential buildings to the west.

The programmatic components are articulated in their massing and material expression. A two-story base of administrative and instructional spaces is clad in weathering steel. Above this is a series of infilled horizontal concrete planes that house faculty offices, which extend over a road forming a new northern campus gateway. This material palette of weathering steel and exposed concrete evokes Duluth’s industrial history. The elliptical drum of the auditorium leads to a three-story lobby and gathering space, which introduces natural light through a north-facing roof monitor and provides informal interaction and break out spaces which support the formal teaching rooms. This space is linked back to the existing north-south circulation spine to provide continuity with the existing campus.

Perkins + Will
Associate Architect
Stanius Johnson Architects
University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Data Core Engineering
  • Electronic Interiors, Inc.
  • Gausman & Moore
  • Meyer, Borgman and Johnson, Inc.
  • oslund.and.assoc.
  • Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
  • The Weidt Group
General contractor
Oscar J. Boldt Construction
Duluth, Minnesota