The focus of this project was to maintain a strong sense of the previous landmark building, which was destroyed by fire. To that end, the entry pediment from the ruins of the old building was salvaged in place and incorporated into the new design as a portal from the old to the new. As one passes through this portal, it passes over an outdoor plaza that serves as a roof for a lecture hall below.
Once inside, it enters a three story atrium lobby with stairs on either side, climbing to the upper level circulation that looks out through the large curtain wall glass to the vast Mississippi River valley. This four level structure houses the student centered functions on the lower levels and the University administrative functions on the upper levels.