The three-story Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion at Augsburg University provides classroom, laboratory, and research facilities for eight departments. Classrooms and labs can be reconfigured, enabling an active, experiential learning process for various teaching and learning formats. The casual spaces foster interdisciplinary and cooperative learning while outdoor spaces create teaching environments and opportunities for community engagement.
Recognizing the uniqueness of the structure, the design team collaborated with technical sales and engineers from Wells early in the design process. As a result, potential issues were addressed early, enabling more design creativity - especially in regard to size and shape.
To create the building’s envelope, Wells manufactured and erected insulated precast concrete wall panels with cast-in Versa-Brix 3D thin brick inlay system from Architectural Polymers. The exterior façade also features Endicott thin brick to provide the visual appeal of traditional masonry while enjoying the durability and economy of precast.
The main entrance includes an interior precast soffit with the same thin brick and pattern as the exterior. This piece hangs from a structural steel frame above and was installed using special forklifts. Special thin brick shapes were used to create the 130-degree building corner at the main entry. Wells was able to match the mortar joint color, texture, and shape of the field-set brick.
The completed Center has become an ideal place for Augsburg University students to pursue degrees on a 21st century urban campus in the heart of Minneapolis.