OPN received an excellence in architecture award from the AIA Central States Region at the annual convention in Kansas on Oct. 20. The firm was honored for their design of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.’s corporate research and development facility at the Research Park campus in Ames, Iowa.
Conceived as an object in the landscape, surrounded by prairie grass and corn fields, this new 52,000-square-foot laboratory and office building’s simple massing and color palette both compliment and create contrast with the environment in the summer and winter seasons. Transparent, connected, elegant, efficient, and responsive to its environment, one juror called the design an “elegant solution” to “research in the Iowa cornfields.”
The design “accomplished skillfully the intention to simultaneously connect to the landscape and hover above it in a clean, elemental composition of distinct program functions,” said another juror.
The jury also applauded the responsible solar orientation and responsive skin development. Oriented along the east-west axis to maximize daylight penetration into the workspace, the structure consists of a 70-foot wide second floor glass-box resting on and cantilevering over the deeper wood-clad first-floor box. Disconnecting the footprints of the first and second floors allowed the lab’s program to drive width and depth. Cantilevers at each end of the second level form protected building entries. A louvered sun-screen along the glass enclosed second story controls heat gain and direct sunlight without compromising views and daylighting along the south façade.
OPN is proud to have a history of design excellence. We believe our success is the result of a deliberate, sustained commitment to an open culture that nurtures excellence and new ideas. As a firm we are committed to the highest standards of professional practice and we enjoy the process and results of creating architecture that exceeds our clients’ expectations.