Our Work

University of Minnesota Itasca Biological Station

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    • the facility serves as the visitor arrival point and social center
    • Overview

      The University of Minnesota set the challenge of creating a new campus center approaching net zero energy consumption.

      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 reduce the mass to match the scale of the existing campus buildings. Conservation strategies dramatically reduce energy needs, and energy is provided by a geothermal system and photovoltaic array with a goal of approaching zero net energy.

    • the structure offers a camp-like ambiance and matches the scale of existing campus buildings
    • shaded outdoor area with fireplace
    • each lab has a gable ceiling, natural ventilation, and natural daylight
    • space is divided into three gable-roofed sections to reduce mass
    • energy performance features include a wood-burning stove and lighting controls
    • the structure has the feeling of a cabin - a distinctive North Woods laboratory
    • Interior

      Location: Itasca State Park, MN

      Type: New Construction

      Size: 12,400 square feet

    • Project Contact

      Thomas Meyer

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