University of North Dakota, Memorial Union

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.

Grand Forks, ND

155,000 SF

Interior Design

Year / Status

Interactive Planning Process

Completed in time for the start of fall semester, the University of North Dakota (UND) welcomed students, faculty, and community into its new Memorial Union. 

The Team kicked-off the project’s planning 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.

“We want this to be a place that students are wild about and that they utilize while they're here. The students believed it would help with recruitment and other things on the campus, and that's the goal. It is the students’ Memorial Union.”

- Cassie Gerhardt, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Diversity, and Associate Dean of Students

Incorporating Culture into Design

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.

Award: 2023 ACUI Facility Design Best Project: Student Union Projects Over $55M

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