Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/ Siebens Forum

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Institution Name: Buena Vista University
Original/Historic Place Name: Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/ Siebens Forum
Location on Campus: mid campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1985original construction Growald, Martin
Designer: Martin Growald
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Postmodern (Glossary)
Significance: education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: red brick and limestone
Roof: sod (underground building)
ca. 1985-present (2006)student union (bookstore, student services)
ca. 1985-present (2006)auditorium
ca. 1985-present (2006)dining hall
ca. 1985-present (2006)classrooms

The Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum is the center of activity on campus. Named for a major benefactor, whose gift of $18 million in 1980 was the largest per student gift at that time, the building contains classrooms, various services for students, an auditorium, dining facilities, and has conference facilities for use by organizations from both on and off campus.

It is a two and a half acre underground building with a southern exposure, constructed in this way to conserve energy and to preserve the view of Storm Lake for the rest of campus. The Romanesque arches on the exposed facades have become a binding stylistic element for all subsequent buildings on campus.


Cumberland, William H. History of Buena Vista College. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1991.

Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates, Buena Vista University Campus Plan. [Belmont, MA: Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates], 1999.


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Last update: November 2006