OPN honored for design, sustainability by AIA Iowa

Two projects designed by OPN Architects were honored at the AIA Iowa convention on Sept. 28 . Cedar Rapids Public Library was recognized with an Excellence in Sustainable Design Honor Award. The corporate research and development lab and headquarters for Boehringer Ingelheim was honored with an Excellence in Design Merit Award.

Conceived as an object in the landscape, surrounded by prairie grass and corn fields, the new 52,000-square-foot corporate research and development building’s simple massing and color palette both compliment and create contrast with the environment in the summer and winter seasons. Oriented along the east-west axis to maximize daylight penetration into the workspace, the structure consists of a 70-foot wide second floor glass-box resting on and cantilevering over the deeper wood-clad first-floor box. Disconnecting the footprints of the first and second floors allowed the lab’s program to drive width and depth. Cantilevers at each end of the second level form protected building entries. A louvered sun-screen along the glass enclosed second story controls heat gain and direct sunlight without compromising views and daylighting along the south façade. The design was also honored in 2017 with a Merit Award from AIA Central States Region.

The design of the Cedar Rapids Public Library has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects / American Library Association with a Library Building Award in 2015,
the AIA Central States Region with a 2014 Merit Award, and the American Library Association and the International Interior Design Association with an Interior Design Honorable Mention in 2014. It was named a 2015 Library Journal Landmark Library.

This award from the AIA Iowa chapter recognizes the design team’s commitment to sustainability. The LEED Platinum project was built after a devastating flood destroyed the previous library in 2008. The new library is the dynamic center of the city’s urban core, embraces the transformational shifts of 21st Century technology; and minimizes the building’s environmental impact and long-term operational costs. The 24,000 square foot green roof was a key sustainability strategy and one of the unique design features that helped the library achieve LEED Platinum designation. The green roof features rainwater harvesting for irrigation and functionally aids in storm water management capturing up to 90% of normal annual rainfall and 100% of all rainfall up to 1-inch.

OPN is proud to have a history of design excellence. We believe our success is the result of a deliberate, sustained commitment to an open culture that nurtures excellence and new ideas. As a firm we are committed to the highest standards of professional practice and we enjoy the process and results of creating architecture that exceeds our clients’ expectations.