We believe the world is made better when everyone has the opportunity to explore the intersections of science, technology, and the humanities. Through our world-class education programs, unique library and artifact collections, engaging exhibits, and expert staff, we inspire a passion for innovation.

Construction will provide new interactive exhibit experiences, improved ease of access, and enhanced on and off-site education programming.

The West Winds mansion is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with new Science Studios each month! The West Winds Mansion will also be available for private rentals throughout the project.

The Bakken Museum Renovation

A Bold Vision

Compelling new exhibits will explore stories of past, present, and future innovations that have prompted humanity to question ideas about ourselves, society, and the world. Visitors will explore themes including identity, connection & adaptation through a mixture of high and low technology interactives.


In June 2016, The Bakken Museum’s board of directors approved a new mission and vision for The Bakken Museum that emphasizes the inspiration and innovation processes. The upcoming renovation will enhance the museum’s current footprint to present stories of past, present, and future innovations that have prompted humanity to question ideas about ourselves, society, and the world. Compelling new exhibits and education programs will expand on the museum’s Inventing for Health initiative, exploring Minnesota’s long history as a leader in biomedical engineering, human enhancement, and medical technologies.

The renovation will introduce a 3,200 square foot exterior elevated walkway to reorient the entrance toward the lake and extend programming out on to a formal walkway over the wetland. The addition of a multifunction flexible space will create new opportunities for programs and further establish a modern design on the property. Using natural materials, including wood and zinc, will allow for the new forms to develop a patina over time. Internally, the current galleries will be consolidated to create a more unified exhibit and classroom experience in the lower level, while maintaining the antiquity of the West Winds Mansion.

This is the first phase of a multi-year construction project to bring updates and 21st-century enhancements to The Bakken Museum. The second phase, pending financial support, will increase the footprint, adding additional square footage to support educational, community, and rental activities.


RSP Architects have developed virtual reality renderings of The Bakken Museum's renovation:

RSP Architects and Mortenson Construction developed The Bakken Museum redesign. New exhibits are in the process of being designed by The Bakken Museum and creative consultants, Roto Group LLC.

The Bakken Museum is an independent 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. The museum welcomes 16,800 visitors to its location in Minneapolis, provides educational experiences to 45,000 students throughout Minnesota, and researchers from around the globe to study 14,000 artifacts and books.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Do you, or your organization, make the world a better place through science, technology, engineering, or math? Consider becoming a Bakken to the Future supporting partner. CONTACT US

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