Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 6, 2010

Hancher architect narrowed to four finalists, selection in early September

The University of Iowa has chosen four finalists from a long list of nationally recognized firms considered for the design of Hancher Auditorium: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects of New Haven, Conn.; Snohetta of New York, N.Y.; Trahan Architects of Baton Rouge, La.; and William Rawn Associates, Architects of Boston, Mass.

A final selection will be made following an interview process that concludes in early September. In April, OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids was selected as the Iowa-based architect-of-record on the project and M.A. Mortenson of Minneapolis was selected as the construction management agent.

Construction is estimated to begin in Spring 2012. According to Rod Lehnertz, UI director of planning, design and construction, the expected completion date is difficult to predict because the university has never been through this process with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before. Based on typical projects of this size and type, and independent of required FEMA review processes, there is an expected construction duration of approximately three years, he said. The building is projected to cost $125 million.

"This is an exceptionally important project, not only for the university, but for our community and the state as well," Lehnertz said. "The new site will represent a highly visible gateway welcome to Iowa City and the UI. This places high expectations on the design, and we have assembled four firms that represent the best the world has to offer for this project. They each bring unique talents and successful experience with performing arts centers and notable, creative architecture."

Hancher Auditorium, located along the Iowa River, was closed in 2008 following a major flood on the UI campus. At the Iowa Board of Regents' meeting on Feb. 4, 2010, state regents approved a proposal to rebuild the auditorium. The proposed site for the replacement building, which will be funded with support from FEMA, is north and west of the existing building, well above the flood levels associated with the 2008 flood. For more information and location map, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Wendy Moorehead, Facilities Management, 319-335-1246; Stephen Pradarelli, University News Services, 319-384-0007,; Writer: Kelli Andresen