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Educational/Cultural Sites
Educational/Cultural Sites
Bell Museum University of Minneasota
Educational/Cultural Sites
Educational/Cultural Sites

University of Minnesota, Bell Museum and Planetarium

The Bell Museum and Planetarium has long been one of the premier natural history museums in the upper Midwest, with a history that extends back to 1872. But its home on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, where it had been since 1940, was badly outdated in the 21st century.

McGough built the new 90,000 square foot Bell Museum on the St. Paul campus, giving the institution a new home as grand as its mission to “ignite and sustain curiosity for nature and the universe.” With room for the museum’s own extensive collections, travelling exhibits and educational programming, the new facility, completed in 2017, has the space and features needed to engage curious minds for decades to come.

Key features include:

  • 120-seat domed planetarium/digital theater
  • Permanent exhibit gallery
  • Traveling exhibit space
  • Classrooms and experiential spaces
  • Retail and food service
  • Exterior landscaping and gardens with water re-use


Award-Winning Design for an Iconic Institution

The new Bell Museum and Planetarium was honored as one of the 15 Most Noteworthy Museums of 2018 by Architectural Digest. McGough expertly brought to life the design of project architect Perkins + Will, with a focus on quality and sustainability befitting a museum dedicated to the natural world.

  • Architectural Digest 2018 – Most Noteworthy Museums
  • Finance & Commerce 2018 – Top Project Award
  • MCMCA 2019 Honor Award for Excellence in Masonry Design and Construction

Project Details

St. Paul, MN
89,857 SF
Completed 2018
Delivery Method
Perkins + Will

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