University of Iowa Psychological and Brain Sciences Building

BNIM Architects

Recognitions: AIA Iowa 2021 Design Award

Project Description

The Psychological and Brain Sciences Building establishes an important gateway to the University of Iowa campus, providing numerous administrative functions, active learning classrooms, research laboratories, faculty offices, and collaboration and commons spaces. The building serves a unique purpose as both a teaching and research facility, welcoming students, researchers, and a variety of public visitors to the University of Iowa campus. As an anchor of the campus and connection to the neighboring downtown central business area, the facility is attentive to both the programmatic needs of the Psychological and Brain Sciences department and the community, serving as a multi-disciplinary campus resource. The Psychological and Brain Sciences Building establishes a renewed presence on the University of Iowa campus while maintaining the design context of the site through reflection of and connection to the adjacent Spence Labs. The existing facilities did not support the needs of the Psychological and Brains Sciences department, lacking a sense of campus connection and the Human Purposed Integrated Design qualities that are necessary to the practice of Psychology. The introduction of views of the outdoors and generous natural daylight open the building in a transformative way, creating a sense of connection among the different functional spaces. The design is comfortable and inclusive as it supports enhanced mobility, accessibility, and wayfinding. As a functioning research facility, a series of research rooms are equipped with specialized light and acoustic controls to aid in experiments. The goal was to create a lab module that could be modified to accommodate the different research pursuits of the department.