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Release: March 6, 2002

Photo: An artist's rendition of what the new University of Iowa Art and Art History Building will look like viewed from the south. The design of the building was presented Wednesday, March 13, 2002 to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, by the university and architects Steven Holl of of New York and Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck of Des Moines. (Click photo for high resolution version of image)

'America's Best' architect to present design for new UI art building

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nationally renowned architect Steven Holl will present the schematic design of the proposed building to house the School of Art and Art History on the University of Iowa campus at the March meeting of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Steven Holl Architects of New York is designing the building in conjunction with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture of Des Moines, a firm which last year was the recipient of the American Institute of Architects highest firm honor, the Architecture Firm Award.

Holl, who was featured as "America's Best" architect in a July 2001 issue of Time magazine has designed a number of award-winning buildings, including the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota, Bellevue Art Museum in Washington state, the Chapel of St. Ignatius in Seattle, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. Among his other current projects is a major addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

The new building, which has been high on the university's list of needs for more than a decade, will be located just west of the existing Art Building, adjacent to a small lagoon and a limestone cliff, with a portion of the building extending out over the lagoon. The three-story building will house classrooms, studios, the new Art Library, gallery space and both faculty and administrative offices. The building's exterior will be constructed of a metal material whose red color will relate to the brick of the nearby existing art building.

George Hollins, UI director of design and construction, says "We're very pleased to have such a talented design team in place. Steven Holl's open designs and use of light will make this an interesting and important addition to the university campus."

The university will ask the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, which will be meeting in Ames, Wednesday, March 13, for its approval of the building.

The building is expected to cost $21.5 million, of which about $16 million has been appropriated by the state of Iowa and more than $5 million will come from gifts to the university.

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2002, with completion in the summer of 2004.