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Ben Pomeroy Student/Alumni Learning Center – University of Minnesota

St. Paul, MN

Urban Agriculture

Livestock and fields of grain make the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus a rural oasis within a busy urban setting. Structures like the 1907 Dairy Cattle Barn help tell the history of this important agriculture research institution. Miller Dunwiddie became acquainted with the barn in the 1990s, when the school prepared to “mothball” the building for future reuse. We recognized the barn’s tremendous potential and guided the university through the process of securing its valuable historic features and removing extraneous additions. When the time came to transform the barn into a modern educational center, the university called again.

Our deep understanding of the barn’s amenities enabled us to plan an adaptive reuse that fits the campus’s unique junction of agrarian history and modern agriculture. Modern windows, masonry, insulation, and energy systems update the building. We also restored the original cupola, a campus landmark. A wholly new iteration of the interior space includes classrooms, offices, conference space, a student lounge, and cafe.