Higher Education
University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

Health Sciences Education Center

the story

Embedded in the center of the nation’s most comprehensive health science centers, the University of Minnesota School of Medicine Health Sciences Education & Learning Center (HSEC) stitches together a complex infrastructure of existing tunnels and skybridges to adjacent medical and academic buildings, as well as creates a new front door to the Medical Center campus. SLAM led the programming and planning and design of the academic spaces of the new HSEC. As a leader in interprofessional education, the new facility prepares students in allied health, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and other related programs, such as social work, to develop the skills needed for success in interprofessional collaborative practice. The new building strives to mitigate the monumental scale and static quality of the existing Medical Center providing warm and welcoming student focused facility that presents a vibrant and transparent image to the community.

[logo] at-a-glance

Remodel and Renovation
Programming & Planning
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Completed in 2020
202,000 SF

The University of Minnesota needed a facility to serve as a student hub for the Health Science schools that would foster interaction, collaboration, and creativity.


This new facility will help Minnesota develop the next generation of world-class medical professionals, to meet our future health care challenges and improve the well-being of all our communities.

Mark Dayton
Former Governor of Minnesota

The primary program and design driver at HSEC was the strength and value of CONNECTION – across disciplines but also in relation to physical space. Below are a few solutions that distinguish UMN and will impact the future of health science education in Minnesota and beyond.

Connecting Campus: Renovation of the existing Philips-Wangensteen Building and integrating the new building at concourse, street, and skyway levels, provide key connections from existing campus throughways to the east side of campus.

Connections in the Classroom: A Diverse Learning Landscape: HSEC offers over 1,100 formal learning seats for delivery of health science curriculum. The wide range of new classrooms offer state-of-the-art technology and varying degrees of expandability. The building also offers a first-in-kind “Cabaret Team-Based Learning Classroom” designed alongside University faculty for specific course models. The Team Based Learning Lecture Hall is a SLAM signature and at 200-seat capacity, is our largest to date.

Knowledge Management & Knowledge Creation: Key to interprofessional collaboration at HSEC is the Health Sciences Library which includes staff and amenities for students including a Virtual Reality Studio, One Button Recording Studios, Maker Space, Data Visualization Classroom, and the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine. These spaces are shared by all health science disciplines.

Inter-Professional Immersive Learning: The new “M Sim” Simulation Center spans 2 floors and provides robust inpatient and outpatient simulation spaces used by all disciplines as well as hospital partners.


Project Contacts

Karen Parzych AIA
Project Manager

As SLAM’s project manager and architect on this project, I noticed our team building a legacy of excellence through the design process that will come to fruition with the future success of students, educators, and community partners and the work they will accomplish at HSEC.

860 368.4144

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