You are here

Bowen Science Building

-A A +A
1970–1972, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (Chicago office, Walter Netsch). Newton Rd.

This building and two others designed by Walter Netsch on the University of Iowa campus are supposedly an application of a design concept that was in fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was labeled “Field Theory,” which entailed, as Netsch commented, “an ordering device, a way of looking at things.” 36 This way of looking at things was to impose a geometric pattern, an “environmental module,” on the building. In the Bowen Science Building Netsch played a fascinating game with superimposing rotating squares against octagonal shapes. The horizontal and vertical columns and their accompanying lintels are openly revealed, and brick-framed, deeply set windows and doors are used as infills.


Walter Netsch (S.O.M., Chicago), “Basic Science Building and Educational Research Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,” Progressive Architecture 54 (April 1973): 82.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Bowen Science Building", [Iowa City, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.