The Palmer Human Development & Family Studies Building is designed as a unique learning and laboratory environment on the central campus of Iowa State University. The building program and design bring together the departments of the early-childhood-development lab program, and the family counseling and therapy clinics. These two programs are linked by a three-story COST PER SQ FT$162.00FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio space where groups and departments meet. The limestone wall in the lobby carries the message generated by the children inhabiting the building. Their “engraved” words are based upon their thoughts and perspectives of life.
The new building connects to a turn-of-the-century limestone collegiate building, and respects the older structure through massing, materials and formal geometry. The facility has child-development laboratories and related outdoor learning play space with office and support space for staff; seminar classrooms and library facilities; and family counseling and therapy clinics with related office space. The design is based on natural interactive play and learning, which is enhanced by the labs’ direct access to the outdoor play area.