The new Hancher Auditorium opens on University of Iowa campus

The building replaces the previous Hancher, which was irreparably damaged in the 2008 flood.

October 12, 2016 |

Courtesy Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The Iowa flood of 2008 ruined many buildings beyond repair, including four structures on the University of Iowa’s campus. One of these structures, Hancher Auditorium, was the leading performing arts presenter in the state and was known for commissioning many national and international artists to create and perform dance and theater.

After the floodwaters receded, FEMA determined the auditorium could not be salvaged and needed to be replaced. FEMA funded a substantial portion of the auditorium’s rebuilding with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects receiving the sought after commission.

Now, Hancher Auditorium has become the first of the four newly constructed campus buildings to open. The building’s design uses sweeping horizontal forms that are meant to mimic the landscape and the curve of the river. Two parallel forms cantilever at the south end of the building with floor-to-ceiling glass walls offering panoramic views of the neighboring campus and river. The cantilevers create two overhangs, one for the lobby and one for the second-story terrace.

The new Hancher Auditorium officially opened on Sept. 9.


 Photo courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects


Photo courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

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