Monthly Archives: November 2010

LMN Architects selected to design new facility for UI School of Music

LMN Architects of Seattle has been selected to join Iowa City Architect-of-Record Neumann-Monson for the design of a new home for the University of Iowa School of Music. The selection has been reviewed and approved by the Office of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Founded in 1979, LMN is an award-winning firm whose work has included designing new and renovated convention centers, cultural arts venues, higher education facilities and commercial and mixed-use developments.

LMN designed Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony, as well as the eastern section of the Vancouver Convention Center, which is adjacent to the Canada Place convention center featured in broadcast coverage of the winter Olympics. The firm also designed Prebys hall, a $53 million Department of Music completed on the University of California-San Diego campus last year. More information about LMN is available at

UI President Sally Mason said having top architects on board for two major performing arts facilities—Pelli Clarke Pelli for Hancher and LMN for the School of Music—is an important and positive step toward returning programs struck especially hard by the 2008 floods to permanent homes.

“We are positioning our campus for complete recovery from the 2008 flood. Additionally, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to advance the established success of our arts programs by designing state-of-the-art facilities that will define creativity in the university for generations to come,” Mason said. “LMN is renowned for their music and performing arts design work, and they are just the right fit for this important and transformational project. We look forward to them joining our team.”

A total of 39 architects applied for the opportunity to design the School of Music, a list that was whittled to four finalists who were interviewed on the UI campus Nov. 11: Charles T. Young, PC Architects of New York, N.Y.; Diller Scofidio + Renfro, of New York, N.Y.; Ennead Architects of New York, N.Y.; and LMN Architects.

The School of Music was displaced in June 2008 when the Iowa River flooded much of the UI arts campus, including Hancher Auditorium, Voxman Music Building and Clapp Recital Hall. After considering repair and replacement options, the UI, the Board of Regents and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified replacement as the most responsible option for those facilities.

The School of Music will be housed on two adjacent sites on the southeast and southwest corners of the Clinton and Burlington Street intersection, pending the successful conclusion of land acquisition negotiations. To view a map of the School of Music site, see . The new Hancher, meanwhile, will be built on higher ground near the existing HVC site and designed by New Haven, Conn.-based firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, with a tentative completion date of spring 2015.

On the east side of Clinton Street, the university will partner with local developers to host primary functions of the School of Music within a tower that will also include commercial spaces, underground parking and private condominiums. The west side of Clinton Street will include additional School of Music functions, including recital spaces and the replacement of Clapp Recital Hall. An overhead pedestrian bridge will connect the two sides of the street.

Neumann-Monson will lead design efforts for the developer tower, and LMN will be primarily responsible for the design of the bridge and building located on the west side of Clinton Street. Both will work together to ensure the complex blends together architecturally.

The cost for this project will be refined as the consultant team is assembled and design work begins. Relocation of the School of Music from temporary spaces to the new building is tentatively scheduled for late 2014, a date subject to change given the complexity of the project.

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Welcome to The University of Iowa School of Music’s blog!

As the new chair of the School of Music, I am heartened and humbled by the breadth, diversity, and generosity of our alumni and donors, students, faculty, and staff. Many here already know me as the trombone professor and director of graduate studies, where I have been happily focused for the last fifteen years on teaching and creative work with our talented UI students.

I feel especially fortunate to be taking over as chair with such exciting times ahead of us. The School of Music and The University of Iowa continue to move forward with plans for a new music building in downtown Iowa City at the intersection of Clinton and Burlington Streets. We have selected Neumann Monson as our local architect for the project, and just days ago announced the selection of LMN Architects of Seattle to design the new home for the School.

Until we have that new building, The University of Iowa has provided excellent interim facilities so that we can continue with our teaching, service, and performance. If you haven’t seen them, please stop by for a visit or come to a student or faculty recital. Our schedule is online at You will be impressed by the commitment that the University has  made to our students and faculty with state-of-the art practice rooms and studios, temporary recital spaces, classrooms and offices. They’re nothing short of amazing, and will serve our students and faculty well until our new School of Music is completed.

As plans continue to unfold for our new building, I hope you will continue to read our blog. The possibilities are inspiring and I am eager to continue sharing news with you as our plans unfold.


Dave Gier
Director, School of Music
Professor of Trombone

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