BBS Architects Engineers

Science Center of Iowa

Architectural Design Services: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership
Engineering Design Services: BBS Architects | Engineers
Project Data: 110,000 SF 
Construction Cost: $24,000,000 
Construction Completed: 2005

With a clear vision to “engage and inspire,” the Science Center of Iowa embarked on a process to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for children and adults. This vision and a well articulated pre-design programming process set the stage for the design team to create a facility for informal science learning. A downtown site in the heart of a rapidly developing entertainment/ residential/retail district provides a highly visible, easily accessible destination. The main building entrance is on axis with a downtown street and is further enhanced by a historic arched structural bridge frame over the street.

The entry experience is structured to inform visitors as they gradually proceed from ticketing and orientation to experience platforms. While individually selecting a desired exhibit experience, the visitors learn the concept that science is all around us and that science is something we can do every day. The exhibit environments have themes which include; Small Discoveries, Who Are We, When Things Get Moving, Why the Sky, and What on Earth.

The shape of the architecture was chosen to communicate the informal nature of the learning found within. A high sweeping curvilinear ceiling caps the lobby space and expresses the dynamic feeling of discovery. Two theaters, a large format film theater and a star theater are enclosed in metal clad cylindrical volumes and are clearly expressed on the outside. Exterior materials of terra cotta and brick are opened up in critical locations by glass curtainwall, for daylighting and full visibility of the retail, café, educational, and office spaces.

BBS provided structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing engineering, and construction administration services to the team led by the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership.

Dodge House Renovations
Chemistry Building Addition & Renovation
Biological Sciences Facility
ETRC Howe Hall
Executive Suites Renovation
MacKay Hall Auditorium Renovation
Kemin Food Sciences Lab Renovation
New Office
Corporate Headquarters
Hub Tower Office Tenant Improvement
Coover Hall Infrastructure Study
Office Renovation
Wyoming Farm Bureau Center
Hospital Emergency Room Renovation & Expansion
Extension 4-H Youth Building
College of Human Sciences
VRAC C6 and Office Suite
Covered Walkway
Parking Garage
Beardshear Hall Remodeling
219 Eighth Street
Goodnow Hall Restoration & Renovation
Catholic Pastoral Center Rehabilitation
Hub Tower Conference Center
Terminal
Reid “E” Research Facility
Corporate Headquarters
Corporate Highrise
LeBaron Hall Replacement Study
Home Office Building with Expansion
Sabin Hall Renovation – LEED Gold
Utah Farm Bureau Center
Camp Dodge Pool Campus Improvements
Levitt Center for University Advancement
Arizona Farm Bureau Center
Corporate Headquarters Renovation
Iowa Events Center
ETRC Hoover Hall
Minnesota Farm Bureau Center
© 2019 BBS Architects | engineers, All rights reserved.