Oakdale Studio Facility: A new artistic home for faculty

Oakdale Studio Facility

Eugene Buck
Eugene BuckDirector,
CLAS Facilities

Opening in mid-September 2020, the Oakdale Studio Facility, located on the University of Iowa Oakdale Campus in Coralville, is a new single-story facility that will house art studios for the School of Art and Art History. The 7,300-square-foot building will provide 14 art studios, display space, and support spaces for faculty members in areas of painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry and metal arts, and photography.

With a budget of $2.5 million, the university worked with Rohrbach Associates to guide the design-build process, and awarded the contract to Build to Suit, a design-build commercial contractor based in eastern Iowa. Along with ASK Studios Architects, the Build to Suit team incorporated universal design elements to create a facility that is simple in form, approach and use; minimal detailing and a neutral aesthetic provide an open canvas to create art.

Eleven art studios line the north and south elevations of the building. Three interior studios, not requiring natural light, align through the center axis of the building. A central corridor connecting the north and south studios serves as a gathering space for artists to display their work, take a break, or engage in discussion and critique.

This building supports the research mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It provides modern and safe facilities for faculty to work on their research/creative work portfolios, which is an essential part of their faculty appointment. State-of-the-art HVAC systems will provide a safe environment in which to work with the range of materials and processes they use as artists.

Currently, School of Art and Art History faculty have studios located in Oakdale Studio A and the Faculty Art Studios on the Hawkeye campus. Both buildings have considerable deferred maintenance needs, are well beyond their useful lives, and do not adequately meet standards for safety requirements. The university plans on razing these buildings in the next year.

Eugene Buck
CLAS Director of Facilities