Otherwise known as The Gateway Building on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, the Gateway Building acts as a virtual ‘front door’ for University visitors. The Center is owned by the University of Minnesota Gateway Corporation, made up of the Alumni Association, U of M Foundation, and Medical Foundation.
In 1996, Antoine Predock was selected to design the building along with local firm KKE Architects (now part of DLR Group). Predock’s design concept took forms, materials, and influence to abstract the granite strata of Minnesota. The 230,000sqft building was completed in 2000 by Mortenson Construction.
The public spaces were financed through the private support from key benefactors including: Richard “Pinky” McNamara ($3 million) a 1956 alumnus for whom the building is named; Curt and Arleen Carlson ($2 million); Kenneth and Helen Heggenhaugen ($1 million); and Jim Johnson and Maxine Isaacs in honor of A.I. Johnson ($1 million). Rental income from commercial office space helped finance the $45 million project.
The building contains two main components: office space and public reception area and consisting of three distinct forms: the large glass, granite and wood memorial hall and sloping copper structure, united by a series of balconies and stairway extending from the copper office section into the wooden planked Memorial Hall.
A plaza of tilted granite planes guides circulation of pedestrians with trees and water leading to the campus beyond. The planar aspects of the plaza act as foreground to the fractured granite geode, creating a transitional unity from landscape to structure.
75,000sqft of copper surface designates the portion of the building where university offices are located.
40,000sqft (2,200 blocks) of rose-colored colliding granite planes form the irregular shaped polyhedron geode (def: nodule of stone having a cavity lined with mineral or crystal matter on the inside wall) exterior dissected with window panes of ‘glass fissures’ which allow sunlight to illuminate the Memorial Hall.
500 steel beams support the granite geode that houses the public Memorial Hall.
6miles of hemlock planks line the walls of the 85ft tall Memorial Hall (containing a water stream and pool).