University of North Dakota – Nistler College of Business & Public Administration

  • area / size 124,000 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • JLG Architects designed the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration for the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

    In September of 2022, Nistler College of Business & Public Administration (NCoBPA) welcomed the community into its newly completed campus home at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, ND. JLG Architects designed the building to celebrate a historic 100 years of developing leaders through transformational opportunities, impactful research, and meaningful connections. The building is UND’s vision for advancing future workforce, recruitment, and retention of students and faculty with innovation that will lead North Dakota’s largest school of business into the next century.

    At the heart of campus, JLG Architects revived UND’s signature Collegiate Gothic style within 124,000 square feet, greeting students inside a three-story open atrium with an adaptable, multi-purpose community plaza and grand fireplace. The plaza distinguishes the building’s transparent wayfinding with a floating stair that connects to the second and third floor, a room-wide operable partition that opens to the auditorium, and tremendous views of the exterior plaza and campus quad.

    Nistler Hall’s interior is broken down into three well-connected and adaptable engagement areas, including 102 offices, with access to the latest in advanced business technology. At the touch of a button, clear glass turns opaque for privacy in large conference rooms, and all 23 classrooms will soon be equipped with high-tech cameras and audio systems, enabling “full flex” virtual learning.

    JLG’s team worked closely with UND to execute a design program that focuses on student, faculty, and community comfort, including adaptable gathering spaces, an array of seating, café amenities, smaller “touchdown” study spaces, and unique banquettes tucked into the first landing of the atrium’s open stairway. The building also features a large event auditorium with tiered seating, classroom kitchenettes, a 12,000-square-foot outdoor patio, and second-floor skyways to Chester Fritz Library and Merrifield Hall.

    Nistler Hall was a $70 million endeavor – funded largely by private donations, including a $20 million gift from Werner and Colleen Nistler and a $20 million match from the state of North Dakota. In 62 separate spaces, the walls of Nistler Hall reflect love for its generous donors. Around every corner, classroom, and conference room are the names of individuals, businesses, and families who made the University’s dream possible.

    On the second floor, Nistler Hall features a Founder’s Gallery – displaying and honoring all of the building’s donors who contributed over $1M to the project. Down a long stretch of an adjacent walkway and open to the community room below, visitors also get an immersive glimpse into the personal stories of alumni and others who have made substantial gifts to NCoBPA.

    Design: JLG Architects
    Design Team: Mike McLean, Shawn Senescall, Nick Jensen, Shelley Vang, Joel Davy, Jim Galloway, Adam Scholes, Chandler Ryfiak, Karen Mutschelknaus, Hannah Halvorson, Jessi Larson
    Contractor: PCL & Community Contractors
    Photography: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss