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.

College of Human Sciences
Kemin Food Sciences Lab Renovation
Camp Dodge Urban Assault Course
ABC - Office Build-Out
Arizona Farm Bureau Center
Extension 4-H Youth Building
Levitt Center for University Advancement
Camp Dodge Pool Campus Improvements
Corporate Headquarters Renovation
Sabin Hall Renovation – LEED Gold
Beardshear Hall Remodeling
LeBaron Hall Replacement Study
Utah Farm Bureau Center
Corporate Highrise
Catholic Pastoral Center Rehabilitation
Parking Garage
Minnesota Farm Bureau Center
Iowa City Federal Building - VHA Renovations
Geoffroy Residence Hall
Covered Walkway
Home Office Building with Expansion
Wyoming Farm Bureau Center
Hub Tower Office Tenant Improvement
Terminal
ETRC Howe Hall
Hospital Emergency Room Renovation & Expansion
219 Eighth Street
Iowa Events Center
Reid “E” Research Facility
MacKay Hall Auditorium Renovation
VRAC C6 and Office Suite
Memorial Union Food Court
ETRC Hoover Hall
New Office
IADA Office Renovation
Office Renovation
Executive Suites Renovation
Lance and Ellie's Sandwich Shop
Biological Sciences Facility
Food Sciences Building - Room 2379 Renovation
Chemistry Building Addition & Renovation
Hub Tower Conference Center
Coover Hall Infrastructure Study
Dodge House Renovations
© 2021 BBS Architects | engineers, All rights reserved.