The new Science Teaching and Student Services Center (STSS) is a symbol of the University of Minnesota’s commitment to the student experience, reinforcing its mission to become one of the nation’s finest public institutions for the teaching of science.
Located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, opposite the Weisman Art Museum, the new center is an emblem of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Mississippi River region’s renaissance. The new building creates a welcoming gateway from the city to the University’s East Bank Campus, and provides dedicated spaces for studying, social interaction, and one-stop student services. With wastewater and urban heat island reduction measures, as well as plentiful natural light and energy-efficient design, the project achieved LEED Gold certification and met all of the state’s sustainable design guidelines.
The five-story building is organized with a bar of classrooms on the east, and a zone of informal student study and meeting spaces on the west side that offers panoramic views of the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis skyline. The student services center is at the pedestrian bridge deck level, with offices and interview rooms at other levels. The programming allows considerable sharing of space on most floors, with open public circulation areas and a dramatic circular stair connecting all floors. Teaching spaces are designed to assure maximum flexibility in layouts ranging from traditional tiered classrooms to interactive project-based teaching configurations.