Our Work

Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center

    Previous Next
    • a central fire pit reflects the American Indian tradition of gathering around a fire
    • Overview

      “Our project was the one you dream of. A dramatic landscape overlooking a world-class river, 8,000 years of human history with an endless richness of stories, a County Board ready to explore new architecture, and enough budget to do it right. For the talent to put it all together, we chose MSR.”
      —Bruce Blair, Dakota County Parks

      Located along the Mississippi River bluff, this ultra low net energy environmental education center focuses on active stewardship of ecological and cultural resources. The process entailed an all-day conceptual planning event led by an American Indian elder to conceive design ideas. A 35 kW wind turbine provides 83% of energy used by building.

    • the building is oriented for passive solar heating with operable windows for cooling
    • trellises and restored prairie support edible plants and vines for wildlife
    • a cantilevered beam carries rainwater from the roof to a cistern for gray water use
    • Specifications

      Location: Hastings, Minnesota

      Type: New construction

      Size: 3,500 square feet

      Sustainable design: LEED Gold compliant

    • Project Contact

      Paul C.N. Mellblom

      • Architect / Principal
      • paul@msrdesign.com
      • 612 209 7787
      • View Bio

      Thomas Meyer

      • Architect / Principal
      • thomas@msrdesign.com
      • 612 359 3222
      • View Bio