JE Dunn recently worked on renovation of the existing 230,000 SF 1926 Tate Lab of Physics located at the University of Minnesota on the Northrop Mall, which is considered eligible as a National Park Service Historic District. The building includes administrative offices for the School of Physics and Astronomy, the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, the Fine Theoretical Physics Institute and the School of Earth Sciences. In order to satisfy programmatic growth, a 5-story, above-grade (2 lower levels) addition is being added to connect the existing building on all levels. The addition creates a 3-story atrium on level one, designated as the “Science Commons,” a vibrant space for student gathering.
The project also included new laboratory and classroom spaces for instruction, research, and support services for the School of Physics and School of Earth Sciences. The building houses approximately 350 faculty, post-doctorates, graduate level and visiting researchers in addition to more than 2,000 students who will attend daily classes. The facility includes 33 teaching labs for Physics, Astronomy, and Earth Science in addition to numerous research labs for those same departments. The exterior of the building was restored and modernized in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth by the Secretary of Interior in regards to buildings located in an officially designated Historic District. This work included a complete restoration of exterior wood windows and cleaning, repairs, and tuck pointing of existing masonry and limestone exteriors. The existing building was selectively deconstructed and reconfigured during the rehabilitation and all mechanical, plumbing, electrical and life safety systems were removed and replaced in their entirety.