Northern Michigan University – Northern Center

  • area / size 156,000 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Neumann/Smith Architecture designed an essential hub to Northern Michigan University with the Northern Center, located in Marquette, Michigan.

    A new, welcoming and attractive front door to the University, the building serves the University and region as a first-class conference and event center, and serves as a gathering space for students to meet, relax, study, and socialize.

    Originally constructed in 1959 with subsequent additions in 1964 and 1966, the Don H. Bottum University Center was a gateway to NMU’s campus and was in need of a significant renovation and modernization. Utilized as a gathering and convention venue for not only the campus community, but for the region and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Center’s conference spaces and public areas lacked in appeal, capacity, and amenities.

    Neumann/Smith helped NMU create a new and modern venue for the university, region and Upper Peninsula that attracts students and the community. To increase student traffic to the facility, the student enrichment and organization space was enhanced and made more visible. A student activity zone was also created for students to relax and socialize outside of class.

    To enhance the center’s large-scale group gathering capabilities, existing break out and meeting rooms were upgraded and enlarged. A more welcoming prefunction and networking space was also incorporated. Truly unique to the center is a new exterior facade constructed at the main entrance, creating a significant identity and showcasing the activity within.

    The project also included the elimination of existing deferred maintenance items and updates of all building systems including building code and accessibility deficiencies.

    Architect: Neumann/Smith Architecture
    Construction Manager: Boldt Company
    Photography: John D’Angelo