Originally slated as a dedicated engineering center, KieranTimberlake worked with university stakeholders to reprogram the project as a multi-use, interdepartmental campus resource that facilitates the curricular needs of the next generation of design leaders, builders, and entrepreneurs.

▼校园夜景鸟瞰,Aerial view of the campus at night © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼项目夜景鸟瞰,Aerial view of the project at night © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼局部夜景,Night view © Peter Aaron/OTTO


Echoing KieranTimberlake’s own rigorous research methods, the university and firm conducted studies of each academic department on campus to compile a list of key features and functions of the facility. The result of the research provided a mandate for KieranTimberlake to blend both flex-spaces with fixed programming, where students from different disciplines and backgrounds can investigate, socialize, collaborate, and create.

▼项目概览,Overview © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼学生创新中心是ISU校园创新的枢纽和门户,The Student Innovation Center serves as a hub and gateway for innovation on ISU’s campus © Peter Aaron/OTTO


Unique in its size and scope for the university, the five-story facility has a prominent curtainwall of glass panels that undulate from flat panels into a chevron pattern, protruding incrementally outward. The facade’s movement and reflective pattern wraps continuously across most exterior walls, reflecting the surrounding campus’ agricultural history, including the historic Marston Water Tower, while also framing fragmented angles of open sky.

▼项目外观日景,Day view of the building © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼折叠的玻璃幕墙立面,Folded glass curtain wall facade © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼主入口立面近景,Closer view of the entrance facade © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼外观细部,Exterior details © Peter Aaron/OTTO


As with many aspects of KieranTimberlake-designed projects, the facade does more than elicit curiosity as to activities inside. Early on, the firm leveraged the diverse skill set of their internal research group to simulate design iterations at the pace of the process. The simulations considered massing, program distribution, and facade geometry to optimize the building for passive rejection of solar heat gain without using shades, and to reduce energy consumption by one-third that of a comparable baseline building.

▼立面细部,Detail of the facade © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼玻璃立面反射着自身结构、周边建筑以及天空景观,The glass facades reflect the structure, the surrounding buildings and the sky © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼室内效果与建筑外观的呼应,The interior effect echoes the exterior of the building © Peter Aaron/OTTO


Inside the 146,000 square foot structure, the flexible, loft-like spaces of the floorplan support a modern pedagogy focused on interdisciplinary investigation through experimentation, pro-typing, and fabrication. While some spaces were purposefully built open and raw for future programming development based on the changing needs of the school and the community, the use of concrete throughout was not merely a nod to the modern or “edgy” in its rough-hewn aesthetic but serves the dual purpose of providing a safe envelope for maker spaces used for honing materials such as wood, metal, plastic, glass, textiles, composite materials and electronics. The center’s generous floor plan also comprises 13 meeting rooms, a cafe, an exhibition gallery a step-a-torium (as the central stair lounge is referred), co-working and event spaces.

▼主楼梯成为重要社交活动场所,设有大型视听设备,The main stair is a central location for collaborating and includes audiovisual equipment for large screening events © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼主楼梯与各活动空间之间的视觉交互,Visual access between spaces is a key feature of the Student Innovation Center © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼主楼梯细部,Details of the main stair © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼创客空间,Workshop © Peter Aaron/OTTO


The building is a place for students from all undergraduate departments to collaborate and innovate. In addition to designated areas for hands-on activities, such as printing, glassblowing, woodworking and welding there are also interdisciplinary classrooms and co-working spaces designed for collaboration.

▼走廊上设有家具和座椅为学生们提供了光线充足的交流和合作空间,Oversized corridors dotted with furniture and seating alcoves mean classes and working groups can spill into light-filled spaces to connect and collaborate © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼墙壁成为学生们讨论研究的白板,The walls became whiteboards for students to discuss their research © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼教学/会议空间,Teaching/meeting space © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼协作空间,Collaboration space © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼会议空间,Meeting space © Peter Aaron/OTTO

▼实验室/专业工作室,Laboratory/professional workshop © Peter Aaron/OTTO

Lead Architects:
KieranTimberlake  kierantimberlake.com
James Timberlake, Partner FAIA LEED Fellow
Laurent Hedquist, Principal AIA LEED AP BD+C
Gross Built Area; 146,000 SF
Project Location: Ames Iowa
Photography Credits Peter Aaron/OTTO
Architect of Record Substance Architecture
Engineer – Structural KPFF
Engineer – MEP IMEG
Engineer – Civil Snyder & Associates
Envelope Consultant WJ Higgins
Green Roof Consultant Studio Sustena
LEED Consultant C-Wise



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