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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

9-17-07

design west

The renovated ISU Design West studio space for the College of Design's new satellite program is in an 1890s-era steam-boiler plant in Sioux City's Fourth Street Historic District. Building design by M+ Architects. Photos by Chadd Goosmann. (Print-quality photos are available from Teddi Barron, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu.)

Contacts:

Tim Borich, College of Design, (515) 294-0220, borich@iastate.edu

Susan Fey, ISU Design West, (515) 238-5128, susanfey@iastate.edu

Heather Sauer, College of Design communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

ISU Design West grand opening set for Sept. 22 in Sioux City

AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa State University College of Design and Sioux City Great Places Committee will host a grand opening celebration for the ISU Design West Studio, 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in Sioux City. The studio facility is at 10141/2 Fourth St. The event will begin with a brief news conference followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the facility.

The ISU Design West studio is a new satellite program of the College of Design. It expands regional educational opportunities in the design disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, graphic design and interior design. The program is a partnership of the College of Design, Iowa State University Extension, and Sioux City, supported in part by an Iowa Great Places grant.

"The studio is intended as a destination for people to learn, explore and interact on the topics of urban design, community development and quality of life in Sioux City and the surrounding area," said Mark Engelbrecht, dean of the College of Design.

Initial course offerings will involve upper-level students and faculty in projects that address real design issues and engage community members. In the first such project, implemented in summer 2007, a class of architecture graduate students created prototype bus-stop shelters of laser-cut steel for downtown Sioux City.

This fall, a landscape architecture class is studying the effects of the pending Interstate 29 relocation and ways to re-establish connections from the Missouri River to downtown Sioux City.

As the studio gears up, a regular schedule of semester-long courses will be available. Some classes based at the Iowa State campus in Ames may also conduct shorter visits to work on projects in the community. In the future, some introductory design classes may also be offered at ISU Design West for students from other colleges and universities, with the potential for transfer credit to Iowa State programs.

An urban extension program will focus on urban design, historic preservation, regional planning and applied research. Public seminars and workshops on a range of topics also will be scheduled at the ISU Design West studio.

"This is a great opportunity for the ISU College of Design, ISU Extension and the people of Sioux City," said Tim Borich, associate dean for research and outreach in the College of Design and director of ISU Extension Community and Economic Development. "While a number of universities have community design centers in close proximity to their campuses, few would have an outreach center with the potential of the Sioux City studio."

In 2005, then-Gov. Tom Vilsack named Sioux City one of three pilot Iowa Great Places. In 2006, the city received a $530,000 grant toward development of a "design school" that could draw on key elements of the city's past, including the distinctive late 19th-century architecture still present throughout the downtown area.

The renovated ISU Design West studio space is in an 1890s-era steam-boiler plant in Sioux City's Fourth Street Historic District. The district contains the best concentration of late 19th-century commercial buildings in the city, many notable for the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture popular at the time.

Scheduled to speak at the grand opening are Engelbrecht and Sioux City Great Places Committee co-chairs Nathan Kalaher, of M+ Architects and the facility's designer, and Bev Wharton, president of Briar Cliff University, Sioux City.

At the event, the Sioux City Great Places Committee will formally hand over the keys to the facility to Iowa State University. The Siouxland Chamber Foundation owns the building and leases the studio space to the university.

The two-story (one is underground), 7,000-square-foot building features a 32-foot-tall atrium, cantilevered concrete stairs, and an interior space that integrates the original red quartzite exterior walls with contemporary wood floors and new white walls. The studio is illuminated by giant windows that flood the interior with daylight. Students will not only study in the building, they'll also study how the building itself was put together, its former and current functions, and its urban context.

"ISU Design West will become a place for students to really engage what it is that Iowa, and Sioux City in particular, have to offer the world of design in a very hands-on fashion," Kalaher said. "In time we will see the positive impacts of this program throughout the community."

The studio facility also features an exhibit hall in a former steam tunnel beneath the adjacent alley, with four acrylic glass manhole covers above for viewing by passersby. Work by students, faculty and professional practitioners will be displayed with special emphasis on the urban experience in Sioux City.

More information is at http://www.design.iastate.edu/ISUDesignWest, or contact Susan Fey, program coordinator, (515) 238-5128, susanfey@iastate.edu.

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Note to editors: Print-quality images of the ISU Design West facility are available from Teddi Barron, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu.

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design west

Quick look

A new satellite program of the College of Design, ISU Design West in Sioux City expands regional educational opportunities in the design disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, graphic design and interior design. Initial course offerings will involve upper-level students and faculty in projects that address real design issues and engage community members. The program is a partnership of the College of Design, ISU Extension, and Sioux City, supported in part by an Iowa Great Places grant.

Quote

"The studio is intended as a destination for people to learn, explore and interact on the topics of urban design, community development and quality of life in Sioux City and the surrounding area,"

Mark Engelbrecht, dean
College of Design