Architect LMN, Neumann Monson Architects
2018 AIA Iowa Excellence in Craft Honor Award
2018 AIA Education Facility Design Award of Excellence
The six-story, nearly 200,000-square-foot, University of Iowa Voxman Music Building is located in downtown Iowa City and houses many functions of the school’s celebrated music program, including a concert hall, recital hall, performance hall, music library, rehearsal rooms, classroom, and faculty studios and offices.
One of the most noticeable features of the building is the multi-story glazed corner entry that showcases the integration of the University of Iowa campus with the city. The concert hall cantilevers over the Burlington Street sidewalk, while the recital hall bulges from the building with a shingled-glass “warped” wall system that floats outside the east building line below. A composition of subtly textured terra cotta panels and low-iron glass with inconspicuous shading patterns wraps the full exterior. All spaces in the building, including performance halls, rehearsal rooms, offices, and common areas, provide natural light and connections with the outside, while maintaining acoustic isolation.
The most complex piece of the building façade is the terra cotta rainscreen system. Not only were there five different textures and glazing finishes to the randomized flat terra cotta panels, but the sun-shade tiles also featured 90-degree twisted terra cotta tile that had never before been produced by a tile company. The tile design took roughly one full year of research and development to perfect the twist and get it released for full production. Following successful production of the twisted tile, a visual mock-up was created and kept on-site. Due to the fragile and unique nature of the terra cotta, the installation required great care and precision on the part of the craft workers who executed this one-of-a-kind installation.