Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Stark Student Center

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Institution Name: Briar Cliff University
Original/Historic Place Name: Stark Student Center
Location on Campus: South area of campus, Rebecca St.
Date(s) of Construction:
2000original construction FEH Associates
Designer: FEH Associates (Sioux City, IA)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: architecture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete slab
Walls: concrete (poured and precast) and brick
Roof: flat and raised seamed material on gabled sections
2000-present (2006)other (student center; cafeteria; pub; mail center; reception halls; bookstore)
2000-present (2006)museum (art gallery)

The Stark Student Center is significant because of its design, its size, and its position on campus. The design of Stark combines the Romanesque, Italianate, and the lateral thrust of the Prairie School. It indulges in an eclectic mixture of design elements that reflect past traditions of architecture while maintaining an integration of materials that blend the structure into existing types on campus. Italian hilltop design and references to Assisi were working design concepts for this structure.

The footprint of Stark utilizes a narrow area of the south side of campus on the edge of the serpentine hills. The approximate size of the structure is 50-60' x 500'. This configuration affords a lateral flow of internal facilities and mobility. The location follows the topological flow of the other buildings on the spine of this campus. There is a remarkable vista from the many windowed areas which move from flat to convex to concave across the south facade.

The facility is multi functional, with a cafeteria, pub, large reception areas, mail service, bookstore, and an art gallery. Students, staff, and faculty interact and utilize the facility in the daily routine of the university. The mall on campus is directly connected to the Stark Center, allowing visible and physical access to the facility on campus and off. Ground lighting illuminates this structure, along with other campus buildings, which at night accentuates the hilltop quality of the campus.


Architectural and landscape master plan collection. Archives, Bishop Mueller Library, Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, IA.


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Last update: November 2006