The Arts Center

The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College | Council Bluffs, IA, US
Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA

This growing community college began as a technical school, but when a fine arts program was established, ad hoc accommodations were provided for painting, sculpture, drama, instrumental and vocal music by modifying the conventional classroom spaces. The expanding emphasis on arts needed a proper facility.

The new Arts Center is a collage of geometric forms built on a plateau between hills and prairie. Each of the primary functions consume a volume juxtaposed against the others. The lobby is a negative volume framing a view of the wooded valley to the north. Navigating the substantial slope, the entry is placed at first balcony level terminating in a terrace, which overlooks an amphitheater bowl. A grassy mound serves as an outdoor stage with a permanent structure planned for the future. The lobby is the central organizing element and contains a grand stair, which negotiates the change in grade and moves the majority of the patrons down to the stage level of the main hall and the block box.

Tucked into the hill and under the entry plaza at the south edge of the stage level, are the functional elements of mechanical, electrical, storage, restrooms, and scene shop allowing for the occupied spaces to be given the north edge and primary views. The facility is designed with efficiency and the ability for future expansion. Corridors can become lobbies, roofs can become future floors and exterior plaza and the site can become an amphitheater bowl.

  • Type of Construction: New Construction
  • Size: 48,000 SF
  • Professional Services: Architecture, Conceptual Design, Engineering, Interior Design
  • Project Components: Auditorium, Classroom, Courtyard, Higher Education Project Components, Lounge Area, Offices, Theatre
  • Project Type: Community College, Higher Education
  • Related Projects: Academic, Architecture, Community Colleges
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