Program celebrating art building construction set for Sept. 27

Program celebrating art building construction set for Sept. 27

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Ceremony at Art Building West will honor people involved in design, planning of new facility
rendering of the new Visual Arts Building interiorThe interior of the new Visual Arts Building is shown in this rendering. A celebration honoring individuals who have contributed to the design and planning for the new building, scheduled for completion in 2016, will be held Sept. 27 in Art Building West. Rendering by Steven Holl Architects.

The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History will host “Advancing the Iowa Idea: A Program Celebrating the Beginning of Construction,” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in 240 Art Building West on the UI campus. The program will recognize individuals who have contributed to the design and planning for the new Visual Arts Building, scheduled for completion in 2016.

Steven Holl and Chris McVoy of Steven Holl Architects, New York, together with associates from their partner firm, BNIM, Des Moines, will comment on the virtual walkthrough being created by School of Art and Art History students in 3D design.

rendering and sketches of Visual Arts Building
Images from Steven Holl Architects.

The Visual Arts Building will provide 126,000 square feet of loft-like space for the departments of ceramics, sculpture, metals, photography, printmaking, and 3D multimedia. It will also include graduate student studios, faculty and staff studios and offices, and gallery space.

The aim of maximum interaction between all departments of the school takes shape in social circulation spaces. Seven vertical cutouts encourage interaction between all four levels. These light courts are characterized by shifted layers where one floor plate slides past another. This geometry creates multiple balconies, providing outdoor meeting spaces and informal exterior working space. Interior stairs stop at generous landings with tables and chairs, and lounge spaces with sofas.

The new building relocates and expands educational space from the original 1936 arts building, which was heavily damaged during a flood of the UI campus in June 2008. The new building will be located directly adjacent to and northwest of Art Building West, which was designed by Steven Holl Architects and has received numerous awards since its opening in 2006. The university’s goal is to achieve Gold LEED certification for Visual Arts Building.

“We are very pleased to be able to work again with the University of Iowa toward the creation of campus space as well as an inspiring new facility for the arts,” Holl says.

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, contact the school in advance at 319-335-1376.


Rod Lehnertz, Facilities Management, 319-353-2235
Julia van den Hout, Steven Holl Architects, 212-629-7262, Ext. 20


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