For more than 30 years, Hancher Auditorium has presented the finest in world culture to students and the public alike. In 1999, The New York Times called Hancher a “forward-looking arts sponsor.” In June 2008, the University of Iowa incurred significant damage to campus buildings due to the flooding of the Iowa River. Of those buildings flooded, the Voxman Music Building, Hancher and Clapp Recital Hall were all damaged and determined by FEMA eligible for replacement.
In February 2010, OPN Architects was selected as the Architect of Record for the design of a new Hancher replacement building. Shortly thereafter, the University of Iowa and OPN selected internationally acclaimed Pelli Clarke Pelli as the design architect.
The original building was designed by Max Abramovitz (1972), and stood as an icon, symbolizing the arts for the University, the community and the State of Iowa. It is the desire of the University for the replacement facility to carry that same distinction.
The replacement of the existing Hancher facility includes a large multi-purpose proscenium theater, as well as a smaller performance space for rehearsals, performance and teaching. The building program required front-of-house and back-of-house support spaces and administrative offices. The larger theater space accommodates commercial productions including music, dance, opera and theatrical works.