Salovich Zero+ Campus Design Project
Salovich Zero Plus Campus Design Project




Tate Lab and Church St.

Project Description         


Physics at the University of Minnesota began in 1889 when the University recruited Frederick S. Jones as its first professor of physics. The first Physical Laboratory, now called Jones Hall, was completed in 1902. Construction of the front portion of the current physics building, the John Tate Laboratory of Physics, began in 1927. Located on the historic central mall of the Minneapolis main campus, the building has been expanded and extensively remodeled almost a half dozen times since then. Tate Laboratory now houses extensive up-to-date equipment and facilities for teaching and research in most major areas of physics. Graduate students in the School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture explored possible renovation strategies to update the building and to introduce sustainable water and energy strategies at the site and building scales.  Below is a summary of the key findings from the M-term 3-week summer course and a graduate seminar in Fall 2011: 



ARCH 5550/LA 5405:  Integrating Architecture and Landcape

See resource column at right for full reports of the student projects.

The Tate Lab and Church Street Project was a student project completed for the 3-week studio/seminar course.



ARCH 8561: Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design Student Project

See resource column at right for full report of the student project.



  • Exterior Historical Preservation of Eddy Hall
  • Strong Identity for Greater Campus/ Sustainable Precedent for other buildings on Campus
  • Interior Open Plan with Flexible Gathering Space
  • Rainwater Collection/ Greywater Re-use
  • Energy Conservation
  • Phasing Options for Future Growth


New Program:  Laboratories and Classrooms

Tate Laboratory is currently home to the University of Minnesota Physics Department. In the future the geology department will occupy the space. The building needs to be flexible to accommodate changes throughout. 



Historical Dialogue:  Finding the balance between preserving a historic icon and creating a new icon

Collaboration:  Encouraging conversation between faculty, students, and the larger community

Systems Integration:  Holistic approach to systems, using their relationships to increase effectiveness



Key Components of Design Proposal

The wholistic design proposals will allow for sustainable systems, small and large scale collaboration and encouraging spaces to propel the University into the future:

Historical Dialogue: The building and landscape form a gradient from the traditional Northrop Mall to an innovative Church Street Corridor. Gradients include:

  • Symmetrical historical facade to Bioregional approach to facade design
  • Efficient lighting to Daylighting
  • Fixed classroom space to Flexible classroom space
  • Turf grass to Edible Landscape

Collaboration:  The design proposal brings a variety of user groups together through:

  • connections to public transit
  • separated streetscape for easy access
  • outdoor gathering spaces around edible landscapes
  • a clear and inviting entry on Church Street
  • indoor gathering spaces
  • flexible classroom and office design

Systems Integration:  The design proposal integrates systems across scales, including:

  • water cycle at building and neighborhood scale
  • passive and active heating and cooling
  • daylighting
  • habitat creation
  • food production
  • The Systems Theory and Bioregionalism approaches informed and deepened designs such as the water cycle, integrating the edible landscape and positive outdoor spaces, and many more.