Augsburg University, Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion

Disciplines converge to prepare students for a complex future

The Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion is the first building at a U.S. academic institution to bring these three divergent disciplines together under the same roof. This goal for the program, and this new facility, is to help shape the education of tomorrow’s leaders to be discursive in a broad range of cultural contexts.

The four-story academic center serves more than 2,500 students in biology, business, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, psychology, and religion studies. The facility contains 19 active learning classrooms, 24 labs, student-faculty research facilities, faculty offices, a greenhouse, several informal meeting spaces, and a small chapel. The new building doubles the university campus’s existing lab space.

The design emphasizes the intersection between the disciplines with a glass-walled three-story Learning Commons, which is capped with a small chapel suspended from the ceiling. Playful color-coated bay windows represent the diversity of academic departments brought together in the unique urban campus. Interior spaces that flexibly support a variety of uses are built on a modular framework and are easily adapted for long-term needs. The active learning classrooms are intended to be utilized by all disciplines throughout the campus, and as such are designed for maximum flexibility since the users are so varied in intention.

The building embodies Augsburg’s commitment to putting students at the intersection of where contemporary academics meet hands-on experiences.

Portfolio
Location

St. Paul, Minnesota

Building Type

Learning Spaces

Size

10,000 SF

  • DBIA Upper Midwest Region – 2018 Design-Build Project of the Year