Gustavus Adolphus College

Anderson Hall Renovation

An axonometric floor plan accompanies historical photos to detail the history of Anderson Hall over decades.
The entry to the collaborative study area, near the new staircase that leads to study nooks.
Cutaway section diagrams detail the main study atrium's use as library stacks before the renovation.
Students studying in an open atrium with access to study nooks.
The multifaith center set up with removable chairs.
Exterior view at dusk into the multifaith worship center.
Full view of the multifaith center with worship mats on the floor and illuminated blue privacy glass at the entry.
Two views of restored multifaith center windows.
An axonometric diagram describes the entry to the multifaith center.
Gustavus Adolphus College Anderson Hall
Gustavus Adolphus College Anderson Hall
Gustavus Adolphus College Anderson Hall

Gustavus Adolphus College

Anderson Hall Renovation

St. Peter, Minn.


2019 FAB Award for Education Project, International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northland Chapter

A building vacated upon the completion of BWBR-designed Beck Academic Hall, Arthur H. Anderson Hall had served many uses since its creation in 1947. Seeking to revitalize the facility that had originally served as a library, Gustavus Adolphus College partnered with BWBR to transform the building into the new home for the Education Department’s K-12 teaching program, as well as new classrooms, multi-purpose student spaces, the Academic Success Center, and a multifaith worship space.

A study in restoration and adaptive reuse, the renovation demolished Anderson Hall’s interior while carefully maintaining the stone exterior — an effort that modernizes the interior community and respects the surrounding campus aesthetic. Inside, existing library stacks were removed in order to create an airy multi-story, multi-purpose atrium. The new atrium promotes collaboration by nesting five breakout study niches within the landings on the open staircases. Each niche is designed to offer a peaceful, smaller working area while simultaneously connecting students to the larger learning environment.

To serve the diverse needs of its students, Anderson Hall also features accessible and flexible amenities. An added elevator and restored terrazzo staircase bring the facility up to code and assist in accessing the Academic Success Center. A daylit multifaith worship space features translucent glass that diffuses incoming light to provide both privacy and fantastic views of the Minnesota River valley. Washrooms and movable panels serve a flexible, spiritual experience for a wide range of users. The worship space also accommodates various seating options and layouts, without conveying an aesthetic specific to any religion.

Size: 27,000 sq. ft.

Components: State-of-the-art classrooms; multi-purpose student gathering and study areas; a multifaith worship room — flexible to accommodate different seating, including prayer rugs, pillows, and chairs; department offices

Completion: 2017

Stephanie McDaniel
Steve Erickson (retired)
Jarett Anderson
Chris Fischer
Allen Hoglund (retired)
Hanna Kuehl
Roger “Lars” Larson
Eric Sahnow