Upon entering the doors of the union, the open and light-filled space features the UND seal emblazoned on the floor to greet you.
The community stairs are located at the crossroads of the building and near the retail dining venues. In addition to providing space to eat and gather, the stairs also feature a large video screen for community viewing of current events and hockey games.
The south side of the union connects to a large green space, dining patios, and large sidewalks that lead to the academic quad.
Welcoming student lounge space is located above the University Avenue entrance and visually connected for easy wayfinding.
The main lounge on the south side of the building functions as the campus living room with a monumental stair and slate fireplace. The stone on either side of the fireplace is native to Grand Forks and the school's alma mater is engraved in the tile above the mantle.
The front of the union connects the campus to the outside neighborhood and creates a welcoming 'front door' for the students and campus visitors alike.
The ballroom can be configurated multiple different ways, from accommodating student organizations to University board presentations.
The community stairs increase wayfinding in the union, as well as adding additional spaces for students to eat , gather, and study.
The main lounge functions as the campus living room with a monumental stair and slate fireplace. This is the main spaces that greets students and visitors in the building, and where students gather on UND's campus.
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND
2023 ACUI Facility Design Excellence Award
With the goal to create a new student life experience, the University envisioned a new Memorial Union. The facility is located within the campus historic district and serves as the new ‘front door’ of the university. The design features a signature tower, serving as a landmark for visitors and students alike.
Located at the heart of UND’s thriving campus, the new Memorial Union extends the active outdoor pathways into the building - offering students, staff, and faculty a gathering hub with both indoor and outdoor spaces for connection. The 155,000 gsf facility is located within the campus historic district and serves as the new ‘front door’ of the university.
Completed in time for the start of fall semester in 2021, the University of North Dakota (UND) welcomed students, faculty, and community into its new Memorial Union. WTW kicked-off the project’s planning in 2016 with two feasibility studies, guided by facilities and student affairs staff, as well as student leaders. The interactive planning process was driven by students and the Memorial Union program reflects the students’ requests.
The spirit of the UND campus flows through the whole building in color schemes, design features, and installations celebrating the university’s history and present successes. From the fireplace featuring slate and local stone to the monumental stair and overlook, it’s impressive to look down into the atrium; here you can see the crossroads of activity and the University Seal within the terrazzo flooring, providing a welcoming feeling and opportunities to “see and be seen”.
This project was designed in collaboration with JLG Architects.