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Release: Immediate

Model of proposed design for UI skywalk to be displayed July 24

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Public work artist Siah Armajani will visit the University of Iowa Thursday, July 24, to display a model of his proposed design for a skywalk to connect the existing Biology Building with a soon-to-be-constructed biology building. Members of community organizations, the general public and the media are invited to view the model at 2 p.m. in the Lasansky Gallery of the UI Museum of Art.

The new biology building will be located northwest of the intersection of Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue and will be connected to the existing Biology Building by a skywalk spanning Dubuque Street north of Iowa Avenue.

"It is Mr. Armajani's practice to obtain comments from the public concerning his projects while they are in the design stage, so we are inviting representatives of a number of community and downtown groups and organizations to participate in this review process," said Richard E. Gibson, UI associate vice president and director of the Facilities Services Group.

Since Armajani began designing bridges in the late 1960s, he has become recognized internationally for his exceptional artistic use of the bridge form in civic complexes. He was commissioned to design the flame tower and bridge for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He also designed the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, a pedestrian bridge connecting the Walker Art Center with Loring Park in Minneapolis. And with architect Cesar Pelli and the late Scott Burton, he designed the 3.5 acre World Financial Center Plaza in Lower Manhattan. (A Scott Burton sculpture is located in the court yard of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building.)

Armajani began designing bridges in the late 1960s. His most recent work includes Glass Bridge No. 2, Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tenn.; Two Bridges for Kentucky, Louisville, Ky.; Three Skyway Bridges for City of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; and The Beloit Fishing Bridge, Beloit, Wis. Other recent commissions include Bow-Front Balustrade for Washington National Airport, Arlington, Va.; and Garden Part III, Villa Arson Museum, Nice France.

The artist is a resident of St. Paul, Minn. and received his bachelor's degree from Macalester College in 1963.