State of the arts: Building concepts unveiled

architectural rendering of art building east, interior view

(Click the thumbnails above for larger images of the renderings/models.)

A milestone. That’s how UI President Sally Mason described development of design concepts for new facilities that will replace flood-damaged Hancher Auditorium, Voxman School of Music/Clapp Recital Hall, and the 1930s-era Art Building.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved the concepts Feb. 7. That evening, Rod Lehnertz, UI director of planning, design, and construction, and architects for the arts projects unveiled initial plans to a packed public forum.

A rendering of Hancher Auditorium at left; the Levitt Center for University Advancement is shown to the westHancher


  • North of the present building, at least two feet above 500-year floodplain


  • Three-level lobby with dramatic views of Iowa River, campus
  • 1,950 seat auditorium with two balconies
  • Separate rehearsal space suitable for programming
  • Designed in scale with neighboring Levitt Center


  • Substantial completion projected for December 2015

a rendering of the main entry for the Voxman School of Music/Clapp Recital HallVoxman School of Music


  • Downtown Iowa City
  • Main entrance at corner of Burlington and Clinton streets


  • Largely glass exterior
  • Second floor auditoriums


  • Substantial completion projected for August 2016

a rendering of the new art building, looking westArt Building


  • Just northwest of Art Building West, at least two feet above 500-year floodplain


  • Designed for maximum natural light
  • Potential green features like radiant heat, perforated exterior panels that control light and heat


  • Substantial completion projected for April 2016

Additional projects

Iowa Memorial Union

  • Complete lower-level renovation
  • Permanent floodwall integrated into landscaping
  • New exterior terraces

Theatre Building

  • Rooftop addition to house mechanicals

Art Building

  • Removal of 1960s and ’70s additions
  • Preservation of original 1930s building, including Grant Wood studio
  • Adaptive reuse study

Existing Hancher

  • Demolition possible this year
  • Archival documentation of existing building, other Iowa River valley architecture

Initial models and sketches provide only a preview of facilities that will restore campus infrastructure and strengthen arts programs. In March, UI officials will share detailed schematic designs, floor plans, and more.