Substance Architecture

Iowa State University Stark Performance Center

Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University’s Stark Performance Center (SPC) is a 130,000 square foot academic and training resource focused on student athletes. The facility includes spaces dedicated to improved performance - both on the field and in the classroom - by consolidating locker rooms, strength training, athletic training, academic and life-skills support, and sports nutrition in a single state-of-the-art facility serving ISU’s Football, Soccer, Softball, Golf and Tennis teams. The SPC expands the existing Bergstrom Football Training Facility – a 140,000 square foot complex constructed over the preceding two decades – to create a single, 270,000 square foot training center. In addition, the project improves the game-day experience for Cyclone fans in and around Jack Trice Stadium by creating a public plaza and integrating other site amenities, as well as interactive public artwork.

The building was conceived as a simple, precast “box” connected to the existing building. This “box” maximizes the 20,000 square feet available and contains the programmatic elements associated with ISU’s Football, Soccer, Softball, Golf and Tennis teams organized on three levels – two above grade and one below. Supported above this “box” is an Academic and Dining “bar”. This “bar” is cantilevered to the north, south and east by way of a two-story truss, and is expressed as a simple, curtainwall form – glazed to the north, south and east, and wrapped with metal panels to the west. The “bar” is supported by columns that straddle the “box” below. Internally, the floors are organized with public spaces in the eastern, glazed portion of the “bar” with service spaces sequestered in its metal clad portion. These two, elemental forms – the “box” and the “bar” – work in tandem. They are unified by a set of interconnecting lobbies and stairs.

The SPC works with existing buildings to create an athletic campus – part of an ambitious Master Plan to consolidate the University’s athletic facilities in one location. This Master Plan required a design that was prospective – developed to compliment and support buildings that will be constructed over the next two decades - while appearing complete without them.

Corey Gaffer


International Architecture Awards - Honorable Mention, 2022
The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design and The European Centre Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies

Athletic Showcase Awards, 2022
Athletic Business

Master Builder Award (with Neumann Brothers), 2022
Master Builders of Iowa

Construction Excellence Award (with Artisan Ceiling Systems and Acoustical Specialties), 2021
CISCA - Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association

Excellence in Concrete – Mid-Rise Buildings (with Manatt’s Inc.), 2021
Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association and American Concrete Institute-Iowa Chapter


Athletic Business, June 2022

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