Passenger Terminal World’s 2021 Showcase: A Bright Future

In Passenger Terminal World’s 2021 Showcase, Alliiance shares how both passenger experience and equity can be significantly improved by industry developments – now and in the future.

Passenger Terminal World’s 2021 Showcase: The Year Ahead

Eric Peterson, principal and Aviation Studio leader at Alliiance, describes how technology in airports will have an increasingly critical role in the 2021 Showcase of Passenger Terminal World.

Riverland Community College: Transportation, Trade, & Industrial Center Grand Opening

Riverland Community College celebrated the completion of its new $10.1 million Transportation, Trade and Industrial Center at the Albert Lea campus! The project transformed portions of the campus by replacing obsolete and derelict spaces with new state of the art classrooms, makerspace/automation lab, student support spaces, and upgrades to the auto and diesel labs. A major focus of the project was to incorporate a new truck training range and facilities to allow Riverland Community College to centralize all of their transportation programs under one roof. Congratulations to the Riverland and Albert Lea!

University Enterprise Laboratories Receives 2019 Top Projects Award


Alliiance is pleased to announce the University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL) Renovation and Addition project is among Finance & Commerce’s Top Projects of 2019. UEL is a private, not-for-profit biotechnology incubator, founded in 2003 with partnership assistance from the University of Minnesota Foundation and the City of St. Paul. Their mission includes providing new biotechnology companies specialized laboratory and collaborative space with business resources that are difficult and costly to find in the market. UEL serves as a connector and active contributor to the Twin Cities’ innovation ecosystem, supporting growth in life sciences, biotechnology, healthcare, and other science and technology industries. UEL provides its entrepreneurs a strategic network for resources they can tap into, such as networking events, IT resources, and access to academic and industry scientists throughout the world. In 2005, Alliiance designed the original 128,000 SF UEL building. The original building was the renovation of a two-story office building…

Williston Basin International Airport: GLC AAAE Commercial Airport Project of the Year

The Williston Basin International Airport wins its third design award! The Great Lakes Chapter of the AAAE selected the project as the Commercial Airport Project of the Year. The functional, capacity, aesthetic, and amenity improvements of the terminal have dramatically transformed the passenger experience into a state-of-the-art, world‐class facility. “The Alliiance team worked tirelessly over many years and through countless challenges to create and execute a vision which became our new commercial terminal. Every day I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to work in this beautiful, functional facility.” – Anthony Dudas, Airport Director

Williston Basin International Airport: ENR’s 2020 Colorado/Wyoming/Dakotas Best Project Winner

Alliiance is pleased to announce that the Williston Basin International Airport is among ENR Mountain States 2020 Best Projects Winners! The competition spans across a seven-state region that includes Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In addition to this award, this airport previously won the 2020 Airport Business Project of the Year.

Williston Basin International Airport: 2020 Airport Business Project of the Year

Williston Basin International Airport was named the 2020 Airport Business Project of the Year! The flexible, right-sized project is a product of planning and teamwork and was designed to meet the flying needs of Williston’s current and future travelers.

Research Labs Begin Phased Reopening


Anna Pravinata, AIA, LEED AP and Mamie Harvey, AIA, LEED AP BD+C share guidelines to reconfigure lab space to maintain social distancing in the most recent Tradeline article. Read the full article

Two Alliiance Projects Receive 2020 AIA Minneapolis Merit Awards

Two Alliiance projects – the University Enterprise Laboratories Renovation and Addition as well as the University of Minnesota John T. Tate Hall Renovation – were honored with AIA Minneapolis Merit Awards. Read on to learn more about these dynamic projects. University Enterprise Laboratories University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL) is a creative renovation, with a new addition, that transforms a nondescript warehouse into an interactive discovery incubator for new science and technology businesses. The new addition employs passive sustainable strategies and creates a contemporary front door that addresses evolving tenant needs. There are few, if any, examples in the Twin Cities of organizations like UEL, which is dedicated to enhancing biotechnical resources for start-up companies with diverse needs. Alliiance has worked with the client since the formation of the organization to create the building program and to design the initial, Phase One, renovation. Faced with full occupancy and the demand for additional…

Workplace Newsletter – Winter 2020


Research The Role of Organizational Culture in Workplace Design Scholars in management, corporate real estate, and human resources recognize work engagement as the best measure of productivity in the business world today. Similarly, recent research in these, and related, fields has identified the significant impact that communication, collaboration, and workplace relationships have on the development of innovative products and services. The central question implied by these revelations is: What drives work engagement? The physical, psychological, and social needs of employees offer a lens through which the drivers of work engagement come into focus. Until recently, corporate real estate has viewed the physical workplace environment merely as a cost center. Workplace design research has revealed ways in which design can enhance employee focus, promote innovation, and foster productive workplace relationships. Leveraging the physical workplace environment to promote healthier organizational culture and enhance business outcomes requires an integrated approach. While the vision…

Amber Sausen Receives AIA 2020 Young Architects Award

Alliiance is proud to announce Amber Sausen has been selected by the American Institute of Architects as a recipient of a 2020 Young Architects Award. This prestigious award honors individuals who have made significant strides early in their careers. Amber will be presented with the Young Architects Award in May at the 2020 AIA National Conference on Architecture in Los Angeles, CA. Please join us in congratulating Amber on this tremendous accomplishment! Click here to read more about the award.

Welcome Rochelle Maresh to Alliiance’s Workplace Studio Leadership

We’re excited to welcome Rochelle Maresh to Alliiance’s Workplace Studio leadership. As a recognized workplace strategist, designer, and project leader, Rochelle thrives on working closely with clients to advance business goals, foster employee engagement, stimulate innovation, and promote organizational wellness. Dedicated to the future of the design profession, Rochelle believes in giving back through mentorship and service to help shape current and future professionals. She has served on the IIDA Northland Board and on professional advisory boards at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Dakota County Technical Center as well as guest lectured at local universities and conferences. Rochelle has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from the University of Minnesota. Rochelle is another strategic addition to an expanding team of planners, researchers, and designers focused on creating transformative environments where individuals and organizations thrive.  

Why Space Matters: Building a Community of Innovation

Mamie Harvey of Alliiance and Diane Rucker of University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL) presented at Customer Focus North 2019, an event that discusses “breaking down silos to focus on people and experience.” Featuring the recently completed UEL expansion in St. Paul, Mamie and Diane focused on why space matters to drive innovation and the link between architectural design and the use of intentional design and engaged customers and employees. Click here to learn more about the conference.

Groundbreaking at Riverland Community College

Riverland Community College broke ground on September 23rd on the new Transportation, Trade, and Industrial Education Center. This exciting project celebrates technical training, incorporates new, state-of-the-art active learning classrooms, and consolidates the truck driving program onto one campus. Read more about the official announcement from Riverland Community College here.

University of Minnesota John T. Tate Hall Wins 2018 Finance & Commerce Top Projects Award

The University of Minnesota John T. Tate Hall was selected by Finance & Commerce as one of the Top Projects of 2018. Sustainable, state-of-the-art, and equipped for evolving technology, the renovation of Tate Hall created a plan for the 21st century building user while respecting the original building and integrating with the larger district campus plan. Historic preservation of the building was important as it is a defining feature of the buildings along Northrup Mall. Flexible and technologically advanced teaching, office, and research spaces were designed to support building occupants for the next 100 years. Critical to the success of the project was a collaborative process involving the design and construction team, various colleges, departments, user groups, and university and government agencies to meet the needs of each party involved. Guided by the theme of science on display, the renovation and addition present visitors, students, and researchers with the wonder…

Ecolab Global Headquarters Wins 2018 Finance & Commerce Top Projects Award

Finance & Commerce announced Ecolab Global Headquarters was selected as one of the Top Projects of 2018. To be eligible, the projects had to be fully completed by the end of 2018. For each submittal, a panel of judges looked at the degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts. In 2015, Ecolab purchased and selected Alliiance, McGough Construction, and NTH to help them renovate their 17-story post-modern Kohn Peterson Fox designed building. An austere building with a clear parti, it offered the opportunity for Ecolab to step into the future. Three primary challenges drove the design: create a workplace that supports innovation, collaboration, and learning; re-energize Ecolab’s brand as a global but home-grown Minnesota company; and seamlessly harmonize with the iconic architecture of the building. The existing building provided many opportunities for classic materials such as limestone, terrazzo, Calcutta marble,…

50 Over 50: Exceptional People Shattering Myths About Aging

Congratulations to Jens Vange of Alliiance and Alan Howell of the Metropolitans Airports Commission on making AARP Minnesota and Pollen Midwest’s 50 Over 50 list! These “Restroom Remakers” are recognized for their leadership in the redevelopment of the restrooms at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Get to know the other 2019 disruptors and their contributions to Minnesota communities:  

Target Center Renovation Wins 2019 AIA Minneapolis Merit Award

The Target Center Renovation was selected as a recipient of a 2019 AIA Minneapolis Merit Award. The award recognizes a project that exemplifies a story of excellence beyond design, a design that focuses on the public’s interest, and a design solution that embodies all of the influences that shape the building. The Target Center Renovation is a transformational update to a downtown Minneapolis arena, home to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx as well as a premier event venue for concerts and other entertainment events. Since the original arena was constructed in 1990 the urban setting and context have changed dramatically, customer expectations have evolved, and technology systems have advanced. Balancing the priorities of the three clients – the City of Minneapolis (owner), AEG (building operator), and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx (users) – was a significant project challenge. The design approach recognizes that Target Center is no longer at the…

Making the Cut: Top 300 Architecture Firms of 2019

We are proud to announce Alliiance pulled in at #160 on Architectural Record’s Top 300 Architecture Firms list! See the full list of 2019 rankings here  

Inspiring Women Leaders of the Future

Congrats to Aishwarya Karunanidhi on being a 2019 Beverly Hauschild-Baron Leadership Fund scholarship recipient! Aish’s active involvement with AIA and her thoughtful response about enhancing her leadership abilities helped her land one of fourteen scholarships to attend the upcoming Women’s Leadership Summit. Click here to learn more about the scholarship.  

Spotlight on Minneapolis Experts and Innovators

Featured in The Architect’s Newspaper, Facades+ 2019 conference co-chairs, Joe Simma of Alliiance and Will Babbington of Studio NYL, discuss the upcoming conference along with Alliiance’s and Studio NYL’s work.  

Amber Sausen Receives AIA MN Young Architects Award

Amber exemplifies what the Young Architects Award is all about.– 2019 AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award juror comment. It is a great privilege to announce that Amber Sausen has been selected for the 2019 American Institute of Architects Minnesota Young Architects Award. The jury selected Amber for her ourstanding contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture. Amber is a committed leader, a thoughtful designer, and a passionate teacher. Working locally and internationally, Amber celebrates and promotes the power of architecture and the arts to build community. Jurors recognized Amber’s commitment to advancing the understanding of the value of architecture to the broader community and leadership of AIA Minnesota initiatives. Click here to see more information about the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award.  

Innovations Ahead: Uel Grand Opening

The two-story, 19,000 SF addition to University Enterprise Laboratories’ main building is now open. The project includes 18 labs and a shared work space. It also provides a renovated shared entrance hall and new office and conference rooms. Read the full article here.

Sneak Peek At Louisville International Airport Renderings

Alliiance and Louisville International Airport – SDF reveal renderings of potential major terminal renovations. Read the full article at

Announcing Alliiance’s 2019 Promotions

SENIOR ASSOCIATES Paul Anderson  RA, LEED AP BD+C Paul joined Alliiance in 2016 and brought with him a deep résumé of public and community-oriented work with a particular focus on environmental learning and visitor centers throughout the Midwest and Alaska. While at Alliiance, Paul has provided business development leadership and design for a number of unique projects. His experience includes various projects with Schmeeckle Reserve Nature Center; Three Rivers Park District; and Metropolitan Airports Commission; as well as the University of Minnesota Cloquet Forestry Center and Hubachek Wilderness Research Center, Sunny Hollow Montessori Expansion, MnDOT Safety Rest Areas, Peace Lutheran Church, Oxbow Nature Center, Fort Wilderness, International World Center, and Urban Refuge Remodel. Ben Johnson  ASSOC. AIA Ben joined Alliiance in 2015 and has focused on aviation terminal projects with a unique ability to develop and foster best practices. He combines a strong design sense with a talent to quickly and efficiently…

Welcome Ernesto Ruiz-Garcia Alliiance’s New Lead Project Designer

Ernesto Ruiz-Garcia, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, recently brought 20 years of experience to Alliiance, along with his collaborative approach to designing buildings that are practical, sustainable, and authentic. In joining Alliiance’s design leadership team, Ernesto will lend his talent, synergistic approach, and charisma to projects across all studios, firmwide design initiatives, and in strategic business development efforts. Ernesto’s diverse experience includes leading award-winning projects nationwide in higher education, workplace, residential, performance, cultural, and worship spaces. In addition to his experience as a practitioner, Ernesto taught five years of design studio at the University of Minnesota College of Design. During this time, he concurrently served as a thesis advisor and on the admissions/portfolio committee. Since 2015, he has participated on the AIA Committee on Design, including being a juror for the Boston Society of Architects’ Honor Awards. Ernesto has a Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor…

Tom Hysell Elevated to the AIA College of Fellows

Tom Hysell leads complex project teams to achieve exceptional civic architecture. He exemplifies the technical and communication skills needed to optimize project quality while supporting the profession through specialized knowledge sharing and AIA leadership. –Statement of Achievement, American Institute of Architects, College of Fellows, 2019 It is with great privilege to announce that Tom Hysell has been elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. The Jury of Fellows selected Tom for his notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture. The following is a short list of his contributions within the firm and to the profession: His project leadership at Alliiance has focused on major collaborations including the U.S. Federal Courthouse; Minneapolis Central Library; University of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium; and Target Center Renovation, as well as the University of Minnesota Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics; and the Spokane International Airport…

Embracing Comfort and Coziness: Falls International Airport

In it’s January/February 2019 issue, Architecture MN magazine featured Falls International Airport.  

2018 MSP Airport Employee Art Show

Alliiance proudly supports its employees’ creative endeavors both in and outside the office. Angela Enroth, an architect at Alliiance, has work showing at the 2018 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Employee Art Show.To learn more about the program follow the link below.

Calyxt Wins 2018 NAIOP Award

Minnesota-based biotech company Calyxt received a 2018 NAIOP Minnesota Award of Excellence in the Office Built-to-Suit category. This prestigious award recognizes exceptional developments by NAIOP members and their teams. Calyxt believes that agricultural technologies can have a profound, positive impact on humanity. To support their goals of developing healthier foods for consumers while helping farmers reduce their environmental footprints, Calyxt partnered with Capital Real Estate to develop a new headquarters to meet their specific R&D needs. The two-story building connects to existing greenhouses and test plots on the 11-acre site, strengthens research capabilities in state-of-the-art labs, and demonstrates the farm-to-table attributes of their products through a demonstration kitchen. The project allows Calyxt to accelerate their research and time to market. The design celebrates Calyxt’s connection between agriculture and technology. The building’s modern forms are clad in natural materials including wood and brick. Large areas of glazing reinforce indoor-outdoor connections with…

Science Mill Wins 2018 AIA Minneapolis Merit Award

Science Mill was selected as a recipient of a 2018 AIA Minneapolis Merit Award. The award recognizes a project that exemplifies a story of excellence beyond design, a design that focuses on the public’s interest, and a design solution that embodies all of the influences that shape the building. In addition, the Science Mill received the honor of being selected for the 2018 Michael L. Schrock Award of Distinction. The Science Mill re-imagines a community landmark – a historic feed mill built in 1880 as a steam grist mill and cotton gin – into a gathering place for the community and a forum for science exploration. The design retains and renovates the original mill buildings, two existing buildings, and various equipment hoppers. A new addition near the center of the site and the southern end of the historic mill creates a nexus that physically links the separate buildings together to…

Target Center Renovation Selected as a Finance & Commerce 2017 Top Project

Finance & Commerce announced the Target Center Renovation was selected as one of the Top Projects of 2017. The annual awards are judged on the degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts. The Target Center, the urban multi-use arena that is owned by the City of Minneapolis and home to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx, was fully renovated in time for the start of the 2017/2018 NBA season. When the Target Center was constructed in the late 1980s, the building was at the edge of downtown Minneapolis. Since that time, the City of Minneapolis has grown dramatically. Parking ramps have been constructed nearby with skyways that serve downtown businesses, Target Field has successfully integrated with the Warehouse District, and the North Loop has had major growth. As a result, Target Center is now more in the heart of…

Celebrating the Achievements of Two Recent College Graduates

Tyler Bares Tyler Bares, a designer at Alliiance, was in the first class to graduate from Dunwoody College’s Bachelor of Architecture program and received the 2018 Academic Excellence Award from the Construction Sciences and Building Technology department. Every year, one graduating student from each academic area at Dunwoody receives the award reflecting a solid work ethic, collegiate camaraderie, extra-curricular participation, and pursuit of excellence and self-awareness. Rea Jorgaqi Rea Jorgaqi, an interior designer at Alliiance and recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, was honored with the University of Minnesota College of Design’s Student Academic Excellence Award for Design, Housing, and Apparel. The award recognizes outstanding student work from the current school year.

Target Center nominated for Sports Facility of the Year

Target Center is a nominee for the Sports Facility of the Year in the 11th Annual Sports Business Journal Award, which recognizes excellence over the past year!

Alliiance Promotions 2018

SENIOR ASSOCIATES Julie MacLeod  AIA, NCIDQ, LEED AP Senior Associate Julie brings strong design leadership to a wide variety of projects across the spectrum of Alliiance’s portfolio from corporate to aviation. She is a compelling communicator of design ideas, both graphically and verbally, and has gained the confidence of our clients. Julie has served key design roles on Memphis International Airport Concourse Modernization, Clinton National Airport Concourse Renovation, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Concourse G Visioning, and Winthrop & Weinstine Law Firm projects. She has also stepped into the role of Alliiance’s NCARB Architectural Experience Program (AXP) Coordinator. Julie worked for Alliiance from 1994–1995, and returned in 2014. Michael McClimon  AIA, LEED AP Senior Associate Michael is a key player in the design of Alliiance’s aviation projects, especially at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where he worked extensively on the Operational Improvements Program and the A-G Concourse / Hotel Connector. Michael assisted in…

Xcel Substation Enclosures are finalists for an Architizer A+ Award

The Xcel Substation Enclosures are finalists for an Architizer A+ Award in the Architecture + Landscape category! You can vote for this project by going to The project is in the Architecture + Landscape category. Voting starts March 14th, 2017 and ends March 30th, 2017. Located along Minneapolis’s Midtown Greenway – this new electrical substation is a hybrid of utility and site sculpture. Together they are among a small handful of substations in the country to have intentional design aspiration. If you would like to see more about this project check out the project page.

MSP Airport Restrooms Win Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Award

Minneapolis, MN – November 11, 2016 – Alliiance is honored to announce that the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) restrooms have been awarded Cintas’ 2016 “America’s Best Restroom Award.” The restroom submissions were judged based on cleanliness, aesthetics, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements. Ten finalists were selected and then the public voted for their favorite restroom online. The Alliiance-led design team surveyed all 100 public restrooms in MSP to assess their condition and ADA compliance. Over nine months, the design team and representatives from airport planning, trades, customer service, procurement, cleaners, and vendors analyzed and debated every aspect of the restroom. This exercise led to the development of a new prototype, designed to be integrated in a complete universal planning module throughout the airport. Some of the design features include softer lighting; a material palette that serves as a wayfinding icon; wider and longer stalls; and custom recessed toilet…

Xcel Energy Celebrates Design With Alliiance

May 17, 2016 – The Xcel Energy Hiawatha Substation Enclosure in South Minneapolis is another award winning and community enhancing project planned and designed by Alliiance. Xcel Energy’s video shares their story of working with the City of Minneapolis, the community, and Alliiance. More information on this project can be found on the project page

Medtronic and the Vikings Unveil “The Horn” Monument on Medtronic Plaza

Minneapolis, MN – May 11, 2016 – Medtronic and the Minnesota Vikings announced Medtronic’s contribution of a new contemporary art sculpture on Medtronic Plaza, outside the Vikings’ new home at U.S. Bank Stadium. Funded privately by Medtronic and designed by Minneapolis design firm Alliiance, the monument is titled “The Horn.” The Horn sits as a landmark on Medtronic Plaza at the west entrance of U.S. Bank Stadium. The Horn inspires the spirit with a pair of spiraling ribbons that entwine, reflecting Medtronic’s message of “Further, Together.” The inner surfaces of both ribbons are polished and seamless mirrors, reflecting the many faces of the community who come to explore and interact with the sculpture. The combined shape of the spirals represents the Gjallarhorn, a familiar symbol to Vikings fans which is sounded prior to all home games. Once erected, the sculpture will be approximately 107 feet long, 30 feet wide, and…

Gerald R. Ford and Louisville International Airports update brand during renovations

March 17, 2016 – Gerald R. Ford International and Louisville International Airport in the news at Airport Improvement