HGA Architects and Engineers

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‘New’ Northrop multi-purpose cultural center ‘open to all’ by spring 2014

U of M officials say urban community engagement a top priority 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium, for most of its 90-plus life, has been the annual home for graduation ceremonies, concerts and speaking engagements, but in recent years it has fallen into “serious disrepair.”

Using computer-generated images and input from other consultants, James Moore of HGA Architects and Engineers, during a November 21 press conference at Coffman Union, explained that his firm designed and carried out “a very complex…expansion” of the historic building that is expected to be fully completed in April 2014. “The construction has been done in a very careful way with lots of respect for the existing fabric,” Moore pointed out. The “new” Northrop will have 2,174 fewer seats but 1,200 more seats closer to the stage, and the building’s square footage will

be doubled from 15,000 to 30,000. Other new features include doubling the number of concessions stands and public restrooms along with installing an additional elevator. The building also will have over 10,000 more square feet for two new conference rooms, seven multi-purpose rooms, and a new 168-seat lecture/recital hall that will serve as home for two school programs.

When finished, it will be “a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art cultural center,” proclaimed U of M Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson, adding that it also will house three school programs: the University Honors Program, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the College of Design’s Travelers Innovation Lab. Continue Reading →

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