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University of Iowa Museum of Art

Located in Iowa City, IA

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The original Museum of Art was built in 1969 on the west side of the Iowa River and was the centerpiece of the Arts Campus. The museum was heavily damaged by flooding in 2008 and for the last 13 years portions of the collections have been temporarily housed in the Memorial Union or loaned out to other institutions. In 2017 the Board of Regents gave approval for the construction of the new Stanley Museum of Art to be located on the east campus near the Main Library.

Shive-Hattery Landscape Architecture studio worked with BNIM Architects to design a dramatic landscape that highlights the new building while integrating with the fabric of the campus. The museum sits directly adjacent to Gibson Square, a historic campus “park”. The design team carefully studied how to integrate the new, modern building with the traditional park and how to maintain important pedestrian routes through the site. 

The main planting feature is a dynamic perennial bed along the slope in front of the building. The design of this bed is inspired by impressionist paintings with a tapestry of colors and texture that change throughout the year.

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