University of Dubuque Heritage Center

Provided structural engineering for a new 80,000 square foot building, colloquially known as "The Wave", that is part classroom building, part performance hall, and part art gallery.

Location: Dubuque, IA
Client: Straka Johnson Architects
Services: Structural
Square Feet: 80,000
The structure offers something for everyone while blending into the surrounding campus architecture and making a bold statement. This unique building required a wide variety of building materials to address the architectural challenges throughout. 
Convex and concave roof joists were used to frame the curved roof, while curved structural steel was used to frame the cantilevered balcony in the 1000-seat performance hall that provides the entire audience with unobstructed views. Surrounding the performance hall and Fly Loft area are tall cast-in-place concrete walls to aid in the accoustical performance of the space. Post-tensioned concrete was used at the elevated and cantilevered stage. The adjacent classroom and Black Box rehearsal areas are constructed of structural steel with precast plank and precast wall panels. To finish the exterior, the facade surrounding this artistic building utilizes tall curtainwall on radii that is also canted outward near the top.