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 http://lmnarchitects.com/.

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 http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2010/january/images/011410music-proposed-site.jpg . 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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