Travels with Larry: McNamara Alumni Center at University of Minnesota
25 Jul 2017
Like any campus, the University of Minnesota makes for a great walk and provides plenty of great sights to see, from the “shoe tree’ off the Washington Avenue Bridge where new grads toss their shoes, to the meteorites at Pillsbury Hall and the tunnels running under campus (a must for cold Minnesota winters) known at Gopher Way. Added to this list is my personal favorite, the McNamara Alumni Center.
Designed by renowned architect Antoine Predock of Albuquerque, New Mexico, along with Minneapolis-based KKE Architects (now known as the DLR Group), the building is designed to reflect Minnesota’s natural attributes: its lakes, its forms, its natural light and the materials that are found in the state.
This is why natural materials, like copper, wood and stone are featured.
Copper is very strikingly used both for the interior walls and for much of the exterior. The exterior material will patinate over time to a natural greenish brown color, due to it being used here on a vertical surface as compared to a sloped roof installation. Indoors, the flat seam copper cladding will not naturally patinate further, instead staying the even brown color that so naturally compliments the other materials.
The metal provides a counterpoint to the natural wood, stone and water features that are used throughout the atrium event space, especially when the sunlight is flooding through the narrow windows that cut across the structure.