Higher Education

North Iowa Area Community College Student Housing

Mason City, IA

Northern Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) wanted to add new student housing to replace their existing, 40-year-old facility. Focusing on providing high-quality, modern student living that fosters a sense of community, NIACC also wanted the design to embrace the views to the campus’ lakes and develop a connection to the academic buildings across those lakes.

The sloped site provided INVISION with an opportunity to focus the views out to the landscape, while also reducing the form’s perceived volume by stepping the building down with the site. Keeping the existing housing open during construction, along with a relatively tight budget, posed a challenge, but the finished building provided approximately 400 new beds as well as outdoor gathering spaces for students. The design encourages the development of both small and large student communities, through its shared lounge spaces, and creates a unique living experience with its relationship to the lakes. 

Nathan Kurtz
Construction Administrator

When creating student housing, it’s important to design the space to foster the creation of community. The design enhances the social aspects of college life and takes advantage of the surrounding landscape. Expanded student life opportunities not only improve student life, but also enhances the college’s finances by serving as a recruitment tool.