The University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy celebrated the groundbreaking of the college’s first new building in a decade on Sept. 29. The new state-of-the-art building is designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative and OPN Architects to enhance student collaboration and team-based learning.

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09.30.16

New OPN-designed College of Pharmacy building largest state-supported academic building

The University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy celebrated the groundbreaking of the college’s first new building in a decade in a ceremony at on Sept. 29, during Iowa’s 2016 Homecoming festivities.

The new state-of-the-art building is designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) and OPN Architects to enhance student collaboration and team-based learning in research facilities with cutting-edge technology as well as spaces for faculty and administration. With a scheduled completion date in 2019, the new $96.3 million, 296,000-square-foot facility will provide optimal spaces to advance pharmaceutical sciences and educate future pharmacists – ultimately impacting healthcare across Iowa and around the world. It will almost double the size of the current 150,000 square-foot building.

The project, funded by state appropriations combined with University and College of Pharmacy contribution and investments, includes a remodel of portions of the existing 1996 south tower and the demolition of the 1961 building. It is the largest academic building the state has ever supported.

The current Pharmacy Building suffers from a lack of presence, or an awareness of the purpose of the building. The exterior expression of the new College of Pharmacy Building is a reflection of the college’s role within the Health Sciences curriculum at the University of Iowa and the academic and research programs housed within. The positioning of the building on the site of the current Quad Residence hall is contextual to the surrounding architecture and campus pathways. Strategic placement of glass and the location of key programmatic spaces within the building will offer a glimpse into the internal workings of the building and its occupants. The result will connect the College of Pharmacy to its Health Sciences peers on campus, and showcase the wonderful impact the College has in education and research.

The building form is a juxtaposition of a 6-story academic/research tower and a 3-story sculptural object that houses the large educational spaces, and a multifunctional commons area. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2020.