To foster excellence in the teaching and learning experience, provide an attractive and beneficial asset to the campus, and promote sensitive stewardship of the environment: These were the goals for the new Warren and Donna Beck Academic Hall at Gustavus Adolphus College. The first new academic building on campus in 20 years, it was designed to carry the 150-year heritage of the Scandinavian Lutheran college in a modern facility expressing honesty, simplicity, and quality.
Beck Hall is unique for the amount space dedicated for students to gather and collaborate outside of the classroom, beginning with with the prominent three-story atrium and continuing in dedicated rooms prominently stacked at the building’s entrances. Informal spaces with comfortable chairs and tables spread throughout the building facilitate informal gatherings.
With the college nationally recognized for environmental stewardship, Beck Hall carries on that reputation through strategies to maximize indoor daylighting, supplement energy consumption with photovoltaic and solar thermal energy, and utilize regional building materials. Seeking LEED® Platinum certification, the building exceeds the goals set by the 2030 Challenge and is modeled to save 59 percent on energy and use 56 percent less water compared to code for a similar sized building.