Higher Education

University of Northern Iowa Admissions Welcome Center

Cedar Falls, IA

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) wanted a building that would provide a wow” factor and a lasting impression for potential students and visitors, while also being highly-functional and flexible for admissions staff. The project implemented sustainable approaches to meet both programmatic and budgetary needs. Accessibility was also addressed at the entry and throughout the building to provide a barrier-free experience. 

Set in the heart of campus, this former facilities building was the ideal location for telling the story of life at UNI. The 1932 brick structure was modernized with feature walls and ceilings to create presentation and gallery spaces and the two-story volume is filled with daylight from 12´ windows. Branding graphics, technology walls, and artwork all enhance the overall environment. 

Finishes intersperse school colors with contemporary materials. Built-in café amenities, with a variety of seating options, play into the hospitable and personal connection that recruits students to the University. INVISION collaborated with UNI to design a welcoming, daylit space that provides a dynamic and memorable experience, bridging visitors’ interest from young generations to seasoned alumni.

Maggie Watkins
Project Architect

This project began with discovery involving both introspection and ambition. The renovation was to achieve many goals, the largest being a snapshot representation of life on campus. The location was set, but the approach, arrival, and contents of the program were all up for debate. The university knew the feeling they wanted to evoke, but were looking for guidance on how to get there. Circulation, materiality, and technology was deliberated through puzzle pieces, spectrums, and lots of tracing paper. Together with the university, we found where to economize and where to splurge. The final result was a renovated building crafted to be visitors’ first opportunity to see the uniqueness of UNI

Other Team Members