University of Iowa School of Art and Art History

2000–2006 | Iowa City IA

Client University of Iowa
Architect Steven Holl Architects
Structural Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates
Associate Structural Engineer Structural Engineering Associates
Awards 2008 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Outstanding Project Finalist, 2007 AIA Institute Honor Award

This design for a new school of art and library at the University of Iowa combines an exposed wide flange steel framing with hollow-core precast concrete floor planks. These planks also distribute much of the building’s electrical, mechanical, and plumbing services to allow for clean exposed structure where cladding would typically be required. A significant portion of the library is extended out over an adjacent pond and supported on two asymmetrically braced piers. An expressed pin-connected tension truss in the vertical planes of this ‘bridge’ provides for the long spans and overall stability.

The central forum stair is built up from steel plate. Vertical plates act both as deep beams and handrails. These plates connect to discrete hanger rods to structure above or have expressed direct connections to adjacent exposed framing. The tread/riser system is similarly made of bent steel plate welded to the vertical plates.