University of Minnesota Bruininks Hall

Campus Landmark Transforms Science Teaching And Student Services

HGA partnered with Kohn Pedersen Fox on this 115,000 SF academic building that transforms teaching and learning. Located at the foot of Washington Avenue pedestrian bridge connecting the Campus Mall with the West Bank campus, the building overlooks the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis skyline.

The architecture facilitates pedestrian flow through the building while visually engaging the Mississippi River valley through a sweeping glass wall with energy-efficient glazing. Inside, a centrally-located spiral staircase connects to different levels, where Active Learning Classrooms foster interactive student-centered learning. Serving dual purposes of classroom and student services (such as academic advising, career counseling, and registration), the building establishes a new campus landmark.

Civil Engineering

Because this building serves as a classroom and student service center, HGA designed the infrastructure to efficiently handle heavy traffic flow through the building and around the site.

Electrical Engineering

The electrical infrastructure supports this new paradigm in classroom education, in which Wi-Fi zones, smartboards, and new technology engage students throughout the building.

Landscape Architecture

The STSS building redefines the University’s southwest entrance with a welcoming network of arced paths and stairs along a 50-foot riverfront grade. Collectively, these pedestrian landscape elements—which address the river and the architecture—provide a sense of place within the larger campus.

Mechanical Engineering

The building’s mechanical engineering system incorporates under-floor air distribution, natural daylighting, total energy recovery, individual temperature controls, and high-efficiency lighting systems, including LED for long-term sustainable results. The Center integrates with the University’s district energy central steam plant and central chilled water plant to exceed ASHRAE 90.1 2004 energy requirements by 25 percent.

Sustainable Design

LEED® Gold certified. Sustainable features include day-lighting strategies, raised-access floors, displacement ventilation, natural convection, energy recovery,5 and high-performance glass featuring custom ceramic frit patterns to improve energy efficiency and building performance.


Minneapolis, MN

Building Type

Academic STEM & Research, Learning Spaces


115,000 SF

  • 2012 Regional ASHRAE Technology Award, New Education Building
  • 2011 IES Illumination Award of Excellence (national)
  • 2011 Finance & Commerce Magazine,Top 10 Projects of 2010
  • 2011 IES/IIDA Regional Energy and Environmental Award for Lighting Design
  • 2011 IES/IIDA Section Energy and Environmental Award for Lighting Design
  • 2010 Minnesota Concrete Council, Structural Design Merit Award
  • 2010 Aggregate & Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, Commercial Building First Place

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