University of Iowa


University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
263,000 SF
Completion date
July 2026

A significant addition to the University of Iowa's campus that provides much-needed space for the growth of the College of Health Sciences and enables the university to enhance the training and education of Iowa's future healthcare workforce. 

Part of a 10-year master plan to expand and modernize the University of Iowa Hospital, the Health Sciences Academic Building (HSAB) is a major urban project within the University of Iowa campus and provides state-of-the-art learning spaces that allow for future growth in three of the university's most popular and top-ranked programs and support the university's ability to attract and retain top students and faculty.   

Set to be fully completed in summer 2026, the HSAB serves both users and the greater campus academic and student community, and its innovative design and sustainable features act as a model for future academic buildings. RDG's design encompasses seven stories and 263,000 SF of academic, administrative, clinical and research space for three of the university's major departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Sciences, and Health and Human Physiology. The building's design is influenced by a trio of fundamental principles: continuing a cohesive campus, developing strong relationships with the site, and establishing an architecture that reflects the innovative nature of the programs within.   

Design for the building carefully considers existing campus architecture to create a sense of continuity and leveraging the building's prominent location on campus to create a strong presence for the campus, provide programmatic amenities and connect to the surrounding neighborhood. Insulated glazing at the exterior exposes the interior programming to allow for a visual connection from the building to the community. Classrooms are designed to be flexible and can adapt to a variety of teaching methods, while the research labs are equipped with the latest technology and designed to support cutting-edge research. 

RDG's interior design is organized around a central atrium with an interconnecting stair linking all the programs together. Filled with natural light, the atrium offers outdoor views at each level to promote the well-being of users and visitors. The building volume pulls inward at the ground plane, creating covered walkways to the entry and offering clear wayfinding and safe access. 

The design also utilizes nearly an acre of open space on the site to leverage existing large, mature trees for shade and create an expansive outdoor patio for seating and gathering, an outdoor lighted basketball court with a large seating berm and a sprawling lawn.