School Project

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Spring 2014

Alumnus and interior design architect Rich Bonnin (B.A. ’93) has spent nearly the same number of years working on it as he did on campus as a student.

By Cynthia Scott

To grasp the magnitude of the Northrop revitalization project, consider this: Alumnus and interior design architect Rich Bonnin (B.A. ’93) has spent nearly the same number of years working on it as he did on campus as a student.

“the Northrop revitalization is a clear and physical sign that the University remains strong, vibrant, and is continuously evolving.” —Rich Bonnin

Bonnin, who guided the interior design team for principal design firm HGA Architects, has a decidedly more intimate relationship with the Northrop now than when he was a studying architecture at the U. “It was often the building I just walked through or beneath on my way from Rapson Hall to the mall,” he says.

sp2014_schoolprohectmainimageInterior design architect Rich Bonnin, right, and Nick Bindert (B.S., B.A.S. ‘13), an intern with J.E. Dunn Construction, look over the work on the second balcony. Photograph by Patrick O'Leary

But that distant relationship is forever changed. Bonnin and the many other architects, engineers, acousticians, and team members involved in the project had to get to know every nook and cranny. The design principles that defined the project presented a captivating challenge: Advance the University’s academic priorities and serve the entire community by creating a space that is welcoming, functional, and world class. And by the way, preserve and honor Northrop’s historic significance.

As astounding as the physical revitalization is, Bonnin thinks the new Northrop offers another kind of revitalization as well. “For alumni, I believe the Northrop revitalization is a clear and physical sign that the University remains strong, vibrant, and is continuously evolving,” Bonnin says. “With the incredible programming that is coming, the new Northrop will be one of the most accessible ways for alumni to engage in the vibrancy of what is going on at the University.”

A season ticket holder for the Northrop Dance series since graduating from the U, Bonnin takes special satisfaction in his contribution to the revitalization. “Helping shape what this landmark will be for its next century has been very rewarding, even though no one has yet seen the completed project. No matter what else I do in my career, this will always be one of my most memorable projects,” Bonnin says. —Cynthia Scott

Interior design architect Rich Bonnin, right, and Nick Bindert (B.S., B.A.S. ‘13), an intern with J.E. Dunn Construction, look over the work on the second balcony. Photograph by Patrick O'Leary

MINNESOTA ALUMNI MAGAZINE, Spring2014

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