Visual Arts Building cops top architectural honors

Visual Arts Building cops top architectural honors

The University of Iowa’s new Visual Arts Building wrapped up its first semester of use receiving numerous accolades and honors for its innovative and inspiring architecture.

Interior Design magazine honored VAB with its Best of the Year honor for educational buildings, saying it is “at once hardworking and elegant, weighty, and ethereal,” and calling it a “fitting metaphor for a highly interdisciplinary approach to art-making.”

Other honors include WIRED magazine naming it one of the 25 best pieces of architecture in the world in 2016 and The Architects newspaper naming it the year’s best new building in the Midwest. VAB was also named a finalist for Architectural Record’s Building of the Year.

Designed by renowned architect Steven Holl, the Visual Arts Building is home to several divisions of the School of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Located at the corner of Riverside Drive and River Street, it opened in the summer of 2016 to replace the university’s original art building across the street, which was lost in the 2008 flood.

WIRED praised VAB as a “three-dimensional piece of light” and The Architects noted its combination of “traditional techniques and advanced technologies” made it part of an arts campus ideal for “theorizing, teaching, and making of art.” Architectural Record marveled at how it packed 126,000 square feet of space into such a small footprint and called it “cube more than Cubist.”

Contacts: 

Tom Snee, Office of Strategic Communication, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell)