Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering,, (612) 626-7959

Preston Smith, University News Service,, (612) 625-0552

Building expected to be completed fall 2013

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (10/19/2011) —After years of planning, a new Physics and Nanotechnology Building at the University of Minnesota is becoming reality when construction starts in November at the building site just east of Akerman Hall on the University’s East Bank campus.

The new $83 million Physics and Nanotechnology Building is expected to revitalize and expand two key science areas. Highlights of the new building include 43,000 square feet of modern and highly flexible physics laboratories and laboratory support space and more than 15,000 square feet dedicated to nanotechnology research (including a 5,000-square- foot clean room). All together, the facility will contain about 40 new research laboratories.

“Since my first year as a dean almost seven years ago, this project was one of my top priorities,” said Steven L. Crouch, dean of the University’s College of Science and Engineering. “We secured a spot on the University’s six-year capital improvement list, and after many twists and turns in the story, we are finally beginning construction on this historic building.”

The building will house about 200 experimental physics faculty, post doctorate and graduate students, and visiting researchers. Dedicated meeting and discussion space throughout the building will be allocated for student interaction with faculty. About 3,000 undergraduate students per year take physics classes.

When built, this new state-of-the-art facility will make a significant impact in expanding research and advancing education of the next generation of high-tech workers in the state.

More than 400 businesses and organizations currently use the University’s nanotechnology facilities. The University also currently has more than 100 faculty members who are active in some aspect of nano research. These faculty are working on nanoscience and nanotechnology to improve solar cells, make better renewable fuels, target medicines to tumors, and much more.

Located just north of the University’s Scholar’s Walk, the building will be adjacent to the existing engineering and science buildings on campus allowing close connection to other University of Minnesota science and engineering disciplines.

The University of Minnesota has been working with its architectural partners, Architectural Alliance in cooperation with Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP. During the planning process, the University of Minnesota also selected Mortenson Construction for construction of the future state-of-the-art building.

Gov. Mark Dayton and the State Legislature approved $51.3 million for the building in July 2011 as part of the state’s capital investment plan during the 2011 Special Session. In addition to the $51.3 million, the University of Minnesota received $4 million in planning money for the Physics and Nanotechnology Building during the 2010 Legislative Session. The remainder of the funding for the project will be paid by the University and private donations.

The building is expected to be completed in fall 2013.

Architectural drawings

Click images to download a high resolution version.

South perspective

Physics Nano Building sketch - south - 300


Southeast perspective

Physics Nano Building sketch - southeast - 300


Southwest perspective

Physics Nano Building sketch - southwest - 300


Building interior

Physics Nano Building internal sketch - A- 300-jpg


Building interior

Physics Nano Building internal sketch - B- 300-jpg


Building interior

Physics Nano Building internal sketch - C- 300-jpg


Building interior

Physics Nano Building internal sketch - D- 300-jpg