University of Minnesota Student Cultural Center300 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Design Achievement - Drawing upon the input of a broad stakeholder group including University administrators and student leaders of cultural centers, this project transformed a full floor of the 1939-era Coffman Memorial Union to provide a safe and welcoming environment that reflects and supports the diverse cultures represented on the University of Minnesota campus. To support the evolving ways in which students learn and connect– meeting more frequently outside of the classroom, pushing new directions and exploring subjects with other students – the Cultural Centers are designed with spatial flexibility that provides a variety of settings for collaboration and meetings, and encourages communication and interaction among cultural groups. With a centralized open meeting venue at its heart, the space promotes awareness of other groups’ discussions and, more importantly, it encourages participation in the conversation. In this way, students can celebrate differences, recognize diversity and come together to address societal issues in new ways.
Scope Summary - This project transformed 18,000 SF in the University of Minnesota’s historic Coffman Memorial Union to reflect and support the University’s diverse student body. In addition to providing new homes for nine Cultural Centers, the project includes a shared multi-use space for student groups that do not have dedicated meeting space. The design is customized for a broad range of uses including study, lounge, collaborative work and learning, meeting spaces, and a ‘front porch’ for each Cultural Center to welcome new and current members. The plan devotes 60% of its area to the nine major cultural centers, 30% to shared and multipurpose spaces and 10% to lounging and non-reservable meeting spaces. DLR Group provided full interior architecture and design services for this renovation, including the selection and specification of demountable wall systems.