Archives

  1. Eastman Nature Center

    The design integrates site, building, and exhibits in order to create a holistic visitor experience in the forest. A long southern facing glass facade brings in light, provides passive solar energy, and extends the exterior paths through the building from the understory on one end to the tree canopy on the other. An active solar array and a geothermal-based heating and cooling system provide much of the building’s energy needs. Operable windows provide ventilation and draw in the sounds and smells of the forest. Roof water feeds a pond to attract birds and animals for human observation.

  2. Hennepin County Library–Maple Grove

    The seamless design fully integrates the library and park, while a lake provides renewable, hydrothermal energy for the building. The design integrates outdoor views and spaces (such as a reading porch) to create a strong inside-outside relationship and extend the experience beyond the library walls—connecting residents to information, the outdoors, and the larger community. The building was designed in accordance with the B3 State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines.

  3. University of Minnesota Itasca Biological Station

    Located within Minnesota’s oldest state park and at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the new campus center contains three labs, an auditorium, and a library space. The design breaks the form of the building into three gable-roofed parts to match the scale of the existing campus buildings. Conservation strategies dramatically reduce energy needs, and a geothermal system and photovoltaic solar array on the roof offset energy used by the building with a goal of approaching net zero energy.

  4. Reimagining Warner Beach Design Competition

    Perched along the shores of four of the Yahara Lakes, the City of Madison’s location has attracted generations of residents and visitors and created a unique genius of place for Wisconsin’s capital city. Lake Mendota’s predevelopment lakeshore consisted of fluctuating, routinely inundated forest, marsh, and wetland areas where plants, sun, soil, fish, wildlife, and other organisms maintained a dynamic equilibrium and clean, healthy lake. By contrast, much of the current lakeshore is blanketed with lawns or armored with riprap and bulkheads, drastically reducing the environment’s ecological contribution. Increased development and associated urban runoff, more frequent and intense storms and flooding, and encroaching invasive species have compounded the loss of natural shoreline. “The Living Edge,” MSR’s design proposal for Warner Beach, responds to these conditions by tripling the beach’s effective shoreline area along the 1/4-mile stretch of Lake Mendota. This replicable approach aims to build resilience in the face of climate change, enhance biological diversity, and restore ecosystem function. In addition to amplifying ecological performance, the increase in lake edge expands experiential opportunities for visitors and nurtures a natural affinity for the water’s edge.