Visual arts

the stanley museum of art opens on the university of iowa campus

stanley museum of art opens as new public education center

The University of Iowa celebrates the official opening of the Stanley Museum of Art, a new state-of-the-art public education complex designed by BNIM. Extending over 5,853 m², the building restores an art museum presence to the campus community after 14 years, following the historic flood of 2008, reuniting it with its renowned collections and works such as Jackson Pollock’s ‘Mural’ which previously held temporary residence in art institutions around the world entire.

We are honored and thrilled to celebrate the opening of this dynamic new facility on the University of Iowa campus and to help welcome the Stanley Museum of Art for the first time in many years. BNIM is proud to have worked with the University and the Stanley Museum of Art team to bring this transformational arts destination to the Iowa community,comments Rod Kruse, Director of BNIM

image © Levi Robb, BNIM | all courtesy of BNIM

the introduction of flexible galleries and learning spaces

Located next to Gibson Square Park, University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art by BNIM (see more here) features a transparent main hall and a new entrance plaza that provides an opportunity for future art exhibitions, performances, social gatherings and classes. By this fall, the building will be immersed in campus activity, allowing art to become a central part of the college experience.

Within the museum, the architects have arranged a series of flexible gallery spaces to provide students, faculty and visitors with space to observe, discuss and explore the works of art. Additionally, the proportions of the galleries allow faculty to curate collections for teaching and research and students to learn the principles of curation, an initiative central to the Stanley Museum of Art’s mission.

The upper floors include a visual arts laboratory classroom where the collections can be further utilized for teaching and lesson observation. A visible storage room, offices, collaborative staff and volunteer spaces will also support research and teaching of the collections.

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Nick Merrick, Hall + Merrick photographers

a kinetic volume with a striking composition of brick and glass

Infuse this new cultural spirit within the campus. BNIM sculpted the building’s exterior as a dark, kinetic volume clad in alternating brick textures and finishes that reflect the daily and seasonal changes in sunlight. Meanwhile, the rectilinear form of the Stanley Museum of Art serves as a protective and responsive focus for the display, preservation and storage of collections.

The glass facade at the lobby level and a series of interconnected voids throughout the building contrast with the solid brick design. Together, these features connect with daylight, enhance transparency and orientation, and guide the cadence of the visitor experience. The outdoor terraces also serve as functional spaces for socializing, activities and school visits.

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Michel Robinson

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Michel Robinson

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Michel Robinson

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Michel Robinson

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Levi Robb

the university of iowa celebrates the opening of its new public education museum

image © Michel Robinson

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image © Michel Robinson

image © Michel Robinson

image © Michel Robinson

image © Michel Robinson

image © Michel Robinson

image © Michel Robinson

image © Carey Nagle, BNIM

image © Carey Nagle, BNIM

image © Levi Robb

image © Levi Robb

image © Brian Gunning, design engineers

image © Brian Gunning, design engineers

image © Brian Gunning, design engineers

image © Brian Gunning, design engineers

project info:

Last name: University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

location: Iowa, United States

total area: 5,853 m²

architecture: BNIM | @bnimarchitects