Iowa City’s Northside, an historically eclectic neighborhood of eateries and small retail, was in need of revitalization and increased pedestrian activity. A 5-story mixed-use building, brings new prominence and vitality to its previously underutilized corner lot, tying together pedestrian routes between the neighborhood’s two major thoroughfares. The 27,000 sf building aims to create new housing options for young professionals, and retirees interested in aging-in-place near the Central Business District.
Utilizing an array of one and two-bedroom units in a variety of sizes, the building attracts diverse community tenants. The unique mix of spaces lock together to bring maximized density to the site while maintaining the intimate scale of the urban neighborhood. The project features underground parking, a grade level restaurant/retail space, fourteen residential units, and an ipe-paved rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city and surrounding canopy.
Interiors of the residential units utilize concrete floors and a “white canvas” for wall surfaces, encouraging the tenant’s individual expression. Kitchens feature white quartz countertops and contemporary white slab-style cabinets. Living rooms and bedrooms offers views to street life below through 10’-0” tall windows, matching the interior ceiling height. A townhome-style unit anchors the southwest corner of the building and features a slatted-wall stair.
The exterior material palette brings contextuality of masonry tones with ribbed weathering steel panel on its east residential block. The west residential block is wrapped in a slate tile, boldly complementing the historic brick within the neighborhood. The ground level is wrapped with sheets of weathering steel, providing durability and material warmth. The design team also worked with the owner to coordinate a mural for the building’s north façade by b. Robert Moore and Dana Harrison titled “The Reciprocal of Humanity”, a powerful statement supporting racial justice.
Project Type: Mixed-Use
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Awards: 2021 AIA Iowa Design Award (Honorable Mention)