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18.06.2014

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Recognized insight meditation teachers from all over the world offer daily instruction and guidance in Buddhist meditations known as vipassana (insight) and metta (lovingkindness). When a Retreat Center course is in progress, anyone who is not already participating in the retreat is welcome to attend the evening talks about the teachings, known as dharma talks. But if you haven’t been to IMS before, please speak first with the Retreat Center office for an orientation prior to attending a talk or sitting period. Teacher talks given at the Retreat Center are available for downloading, streaming or podcasting. Inside Hamline University’s Anderson University Center, the vibrant forum has large and flexible event and meeting spaces as well as study areas for students. Almost every project faces obstacles, but Lowell Bromander credits McGough, the general contractor for Hamline’s Anderson University Center, for the relatively smooth build-out.
When the university was ready to assemble its A-team, it carried out an intense integrated planning process, says Hamline associate vice president for facilities services Lowell Bromander, a member of both the Sustainability and the University Center task forces. The Anderson Center gives students and faculty a place for good food, meeting rooms, meditative spaces, and state-of-the-art technology to support large and small gatherings.
The Anderson Center has an open dining area for students who choose to get food at the center or bring their lunch.
The Anderson Center offers the calming space of a Wellspring meditation center, which is open to all who desire a quiet space for reflection or prayer.


The Anderson Center is Hamline’s first official green building; however, before it was built, unsung efforts were going on across campus that contributed to the green movement and decreased the university’s environmental impact.
During construction, Bromander’s team replaced two less-efficient boilers, which were operating below full capacity, and installed one high-efficiency pressure steam-boiler.  Even with the additional heating needs of the Anderson Center, Hamline has actually improved its heating efficiency.
In routing the steam to the center, a section of the campus sidewalks had to be removed, the space repaved, and street lamps reinstalled. Special attention was paid to the lighting and materials used in the Anderson Center as well.
Just within a year of operation, the Anderson Center has already become a hive of activity on the Hamline campus.
Hamline is certainly not as large as the University of Minnesota, but the Anderson Center and the architectural precedent it has set are putting this smaller institution in the company of the Minnesota’s larger schools. One weekend of rounding delivers the benefits of three to six months of regular twice a day meditation. One of the highlights of a weekend like this is the opportunity to explore in more depth the knowledge that accompanies our meditation practice. When the board of trustees met in 2007 to lay out a five-year strategic plan for the Saint Paul, Minnesota, campus, it became apparent that its 1960s-era student center was over capacity for the 5,000 students and more than 600 faculty and staff members.
Making the most of the loss, the team opted to move 30 of the trees to new locations on campus, and the others were harvested for furniture, signage, and artwork within the Anderson Center.


More than three quarters of the center is daylit by skylights and towering windows such as those making up the center’s sleek, curved front facade, and an automated system compensates with electric lights when light levels are too low.
The day is spent in silent practice with alternate periods of sitting and walking meditation, as well as a one-hour work-as-practice period. Bromander’s role on the two task forces allowed him to function as a natural liaison and maintain the sustainability vision while always considering the integrity of the center. It took $36 million, 16 months, and a handpicked team to deliver on the project, but on August 10, 2012, the center opened its doors—just in time to welcome its Pipers football team after the first practice of the season. And through the multifunctionality of the center’s spaces, the new technologies it has incorporated, and the accommodations the building provides, the building itself reflects that campus personality well. The two-story solarium doubles as a living room space and event center, and the 56,000 square feet of underground parking serves 105 vehicles at a time—plus three electric car-charging stations—without sacrificing any green space.



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