University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN


From Wal-Mart to Library: MS&R Receives National AIA Honor Award

By Design at Minnesota
Feb 28, '13 3:10 PM EST

Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd (MS&R), co-founded by principal Thomas Meyer (B.Arch '74), received the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) highest honor for interior architecture for converting an abandoned Wal-mart into a highly functional public library in McAllen, Texas. The final result, possibly the largest library on a single floor, is larger than a football field. Jack Poling (M.Arch '88), MS&R's senior principal and managing partner, was lead interior architect for the project.   

The makeover impressed the AIA judges, "The McAllen Main Library represents an important shift in American cultural attitudes toward tolerating big box, suburban structures. The interior spaces have been dramatically transformed from a warehouse to a place with a sense of intimacy...The design team signaled that 21st-century attitudes toward design are evolving quickly." The library previously received an AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture and an ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Best Overall Award for public libraries over 30,000 square feet.

MS&R's AIA Honor Award will be presented during the AIA Convention in Denver on June 20, 2013. 

The College of Design is hosting a reception for all School of Architecture alumni during the AIA Convention. Watch for an email invitation later this spring. Contact Lori Molberg, alumni director, with questions at (612) 625-8796 or visit