UI West Campus Transit Center

Designed for the University of Iowa and its associated research hospital, the UI West Campus Transit Center consolidates functions previously located elsewhere on campus, including 10,000 square feet of office space and a bus interchange for the campus-wide transit system.

Originally, the University envisioned two separate structures located on a small site immediately north of the football stadium. We proposed stacking the offices over the bus interchange program. In doing so, the offices could function as the canopy/roof of the bus interchange, reducing the project’s square footage and maximizing the budget’s potential.

The University also requested an enclosed walkway system that would connect to two parking structures and the main entrance of the hospital. Due to the utility network below the site, we could only punch six caissons along the 750-foot route. These restraints led to a glazed structure with paired roof beams, spanning the six locations.

The completed building utilized a variety of materials. The skywalk, transit hub, and connecting elevator are fully enclosed in glass, fostering a safe, “see-and-be-seen” environment and a welcoming patron experience. A grand staircase and paired escalators provide a direct connection from the parking/interchange level to the skywalk.

The remaining programmatic elements are clad in a combination of glass curtain walls and opaque rain screen wall systems. At grade level, the service program is clad in a rain screen and stained ipe. The highly durable ipe responds to the surrounding brown brick buildings, contextualizing the structure in place.

A fiber cement rain screen clads the raised office “bar.” This wrapper stretches to the skywalk, which enters the building at a sharp angle from the hospital parking ramp. The fiber cement system provides durability, economy of fabrication and installation, and fluctuating color tones that break down the scale of the overhanging area.

Project Type



Iowa City, Iowa


26,780 SF
2,640 SF (renovated)




2018 AIA Iowa Craft Award
2014 AIA Iowa Sustainable Design Award
2013 AIA Iowa Design Award
2013 AIA Central States Design Award