You are here

Boyd Law Building

-A A +A
1985–1986, Gunnar Birkerts and Associates. Grand Ave., north of S. Riverside Dr.
  • Boyd Law Building
  • Boyd Law Building

Here is another example of the University of Iowa's homage to the purity of geometry—in this case the circular drum. Birkerts is quoted as saying that he selected this self-contained form as an expression of “perfection, clarity, integrity, and geometric purity”; 37 all of this, of course, has a ring of the late eighteenth-century French architect and theorist EtienneLouis Boullee, or of Le Corbusier in his Towards a New Architecture (1922). Birkerts has taken the five-level cylinder and then proceeded to cut into it in various ways. As is usually the case when one designs a circular building, the architect ends up trying to fit rectangular spaces within curved spaces, with, as one would expect, mixed results. Much of the building is sheathed in silver-colored aluminum, including a centerpiece of a small dome that tops the building. The rationale cited for the dome is that it mirrors the Old Capitol building's dome across the river. Much of the law building seems to be a well-detailed high-tech design of the 1980s; other spaces and exterior forms have the quality of science fiction about them.

Notes

Gunnar Birkerts, 107.

Writing Credits

Author: 
David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Boyd Law Building", [Iowa City, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/IA-01-CE307.

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.

, ,