The primary goal of this project was to modernize and increase the overall dining capacity of Miller Dining Hall to accommodate a growing student population while enhancing the efficiency and quality of the dining experience.

Among the challenges faced during the renovation of this 1970s hall, were the odd-shaped, icosikaipentagon building, the dated and inefficient building systems, the need for a major seismic structural retrofit, and the construction phasing required in order to work around the campus’ school and dining schedule.

Overall ADA accessibility was improved while improving access to and from the adjacent residence halls and other halls in close proximity. Two additional entrances were added with ADA access; one of which included an elevator tower with ground level access to enable those in wheelchairs to easily frequent the dining hall. The connection between the new elements and existing structures was carefully considered and addressed using complementary materials and taking scale and balance into special consideration.

The dining hall itself was completely redesigned to feature a modern food service with extended hours and a variety of exhibition-cooking venues and lounge areas throughout.

One of the mandates at MSU is that all construction projects meet LEED Silver or better. In August 2017 this project received the coveted Leed® Silver Certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a recognized standard for measuring building sustainability.

Nelson Architects put together a collaborative design team which included: Maryland-based Porter Khouw Consulting, the country’s premier foodservice planning and design firm; Seattle-based Mesher Shing McNutt, providing conceptual interior design; Bozeman-based Prime Incorporated, a signage and graphic design firm; and Bozeman-based Morrison-Maierle, a multi-discipline engineering firm in Bozeman.

Cost: $13,400,000

Size: 50,200 SF

Unique: Award Winner – Honored in American School & University’s Educational Interiors Showcase magazine (August 2016) for outstanding designs. This project was awarded a LEED® Silver for energy efficient, green design.


Montana State University, Bozeman Montana

What we did

Space Planning, Architectural Design, Interior Design, and Construction Administration

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