Hancher Auditorium’s Grand Opening

University of Iowa, Hancher Auditorium, Location: Iowa City IA, Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli

The University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium – a project that CBBLD completed in collaboration with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and OPN Architects – is widely recognized as a premier performing arts center for theatre, dance and music.  After the original building was destroyed by flooding in 2008, a new, 188,000 SF performance center opened to the public in September 2016.  CBBLD designed the lighting for the building’s performance and public spaces, highlights of which include an 1,800-seat proscenium theater and a triple-height lobby/atrium.

The lobby/atrium’s lighting features a field of custom LED downlights that emphasize the building’s sweeping curves, creating a visual connection between interior and exterior. In the main performance hall, monumental, ring-shaped custom fixtures create an impressive ceiling plane, and innovative lighting at the balcony fronts adds depth and movement to the house lighting.

Imaginative lighting plays a key role in providing the University and its wider community with a renewed arts center and cultural hub.