University of Minnesota Ruttan Plaza


  • Education


  • Land Development
  • Landscape Architecture


  • St. Paul, Minnesota

The existing rooftop plaza site located between Ruttan Hall and Magrath Library at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus is approximately 14,000 square feet with classrooms and offices located below. HR Green provided leak investigation services and a structural analysis of the underutilized plaza and determined that the structure was no longer adequately designed to support the existing loads. As a result, the University seized the opportunity to repair the failing structure and elected to incorporate an upgraded green roof design into the necessary structure improvements to establish a more pedestrian-friendly space. The design sought to create a gathering space for students and alumni events, improve connectivity on the campus and address functionality and sustainability.

Over the course of several months, HR Green worked in conjunction with an appointed review committee to develop and refine concepts. A final plan was ultimately created to revitalize both the interior commons space and exterior plaza. The hardscape design included pergolas, seating areas, railings, concrete surfacing, pavers, retaining walls and seat walls, while the landscape design included an intensive green roof comprised of lightweight planting mediums, plant materials and lighting.

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