University of Iowa Learning Commons

Iowa City, IA

U of I Learning Commons Primary Image

Thoughtful design integrates technology in this library update making it the "Coolest Place on Campus".

Collaboration with the project’s architect and contractor lead to the creation of a showcase on campus. This much needed library update, after a devastating flood, placed emphasis on academic wellness in an environment that provides secure, engaging and attractive functionality in a collection of high-profile ‘Small Group Learning Areas’ within the Main Library at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Pigott was brought into the design discussion as a means to effectively develop an attractive and practical new standard for interior construction. This solution allows the client to change finishes and/or access the wall interiors for easy upgrades to technology as needs changes without ‘down-time’ to this valuable library asset.

52 and 80 inch monitor displays were securely installed behind clear tempered glass which serves as a deterrent to theft and vandalism. This glass finish also allows every surface to become a marker board for brain-storming. When access is required to inevitably service or replace these displays or other technology, the wall tiles are easily removed by campus staff. Markable/erasable graphics are applied on the perimeter glass for privacy, additional work surface and colored way-finding. The design aesthetic and functionality found in the Herman Miller products that furnished the space provided options that were perfect for collaboration and study. All these design elements were key to the future flexibility of the space as needs change for this university.

Since its opening, this space has been voted as the “Coolest Place on Campus” by the students at the university. Collaborative study rooms, informal study nooks, writeable surfaces and embedded technology all make this space a highly sought out addition to the University of Iowa.