With its flexible and technology-rich teaching spaces that keep pace with emerging scientific discovery and its shared laboratories that promote cross-disciplinary dialogue, Regents Hall manifests the college’s long-held priorities and guiding principles: interdisciplinary work; investigative learning; interaction among faculty and students; innovative educational methodologies; and strong integration of both the liberal arts and the natural world.
From its inception, Regents Hall has been driven by a programmatic vision that has guided both its usage planning and architectural design. Known as The Seven I’s, these principles shaped what the building has become.
Regents Hall preserves the rigorous teaching of the standard disciplines represented by current mathematics and natural science departments while also enhancing the interdisciplinary teaching and research that is at the cutting edge of modern science. Interdisciplinary work is fostered by close proximity. Therefore, the creation of natural disciplinary and interdisciplinary groupings in Regents Hall was a top priority.
The teaching and research spaces in Regents Hall will promote investigative work and student exploration. Given St. Olaf College’s research-active faculty, easy access to major instrumentation and excellent faculty-student research spaces to sustain the college’s nationally recognized undergraduate teaching and research programs were an important underpinning for building design.
Regents Hall is designed for student-student, student-faculty and faculty-faculty interactions. Current science solves problems and advances new ideas by bringing together teams of scientists and researchers with various perspectives. Regents Hall offers public and shared spaces that provide the opportunity to model and practice this approach.
Technology continues to revolutionize the way in which science and mathematics are taught. The Regents Hall design incorporates the technology-driven pedagogical innovations present in St. Olaf College’s current academic and research programs, and is flexible enough to adapt to emerging technologies.
Regents Hall and its exterior landscapes are designed to be inviting, with many interesting features that draw people in and encourage them to linger. Informal gathering spaces throughout the building encourage individual reflection and study. The overall effect is that Regents Hall is an inspiring place to be.
Regents Hall honors the environment in a variety of ways. From the use of wood gathered from the trees that made way for the building’s construction and have now found new life in tables and benches located throughout the facility to the reforesting of the surrounding environs with new plantings of native species, Regents Hall evidences the college’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
Regents Hall not only fosters connections between disciplines and academic programs across campus but also employs building design elements that reinforce awareness of the interconnectivity of physical space. Glass windows in and between laboratories visually bridge rooms separated in function. Extensive use of exterior glass maximizes light and creates a sense of openness, helping connect visitors with the natural world by drawing the eye outward to the campus green, Norway Valley, Northfield and beyond.