PrizeHonorable Mention in Architectural Design /
Firm LocationIowa City, United States
CompanyNeumann Monson Architects
ClientMoen Group

Exploring the idea of purity, the tower design divorces itself from a mix of eras and styles in its historic downtown setting. The 15- story tower stands as a symbolic urban gesture, culminating the entry route to downtown and creating a staged backdrop against a tree-filled city plaza. Within its simple shell, the design team took on an exciting challenge of condensing 44,000 square feet of program onto a 3,200 square foot site. Diagrammatically representing the split between circulation and living spaces, the tower's parti emphasizes verticality with opposing solid and transparent materiality. Concrete-formed masonry units clad the stair and elevator towers to the east, reflecting building levels with contrasting stringer courses at each floor line. Glass curtain wall wraps the western volume of the building from ground level to roof plane, rigorously organized into four foot panels and proportional to the structure itself. The building is entered from the city plaza to the north. The residential units, beginning on level five, include three standard types. Two mirrored units flanking the north and south are bisected by a larger unit to the west. Positioned at the top level, two double- height penthouse units interlock to provide each unit with views in three directions. Though monumental in size, the architecture carries itself with a lightness allowing any disparity of scale to fade into the landscape of the city. The building's skin provides scenes of the life within, inherently linking a context of human scale back to city below.