Fully-Integrated, Multi-Disciplinary Team Delivers a New Science Center for Luther College Students

With students’ growing interest in the sciences, Luther College looked to expand its facilities and engaged Opus’ design-build team to design and construct a new three-story building to house the chemistry and biology departments.

Located adjacent to the existing Valders Science Hall, the new Sampson-Hoffland Science Center provides additional state-of-the-art facilities and space to meet the college’s growing needs now and into the future.

A collaborative project from start to finish, the third-party construction project includes:
  • more than 20 teaching laboratories and related preparatory spaces,
  • a large study/lounge area on the south end of each floor with views of the central campus lawn and
  • a two-story atrium space at the north end, serving the new center and existing Valders Science Hall.

The exterior combines red brick, smooth metal panels and glass curtainwall to create a visually interesting structure for visitors as they enter campus along the main entrance. With its use of metal and large glass areas, the building reflects the high-tech nature of the sciences it houses. By incorporating architectural design details such as brick and punched window openings along the two side walls, it also remains consistent with the character of other campus buildings.

The 66,000-square-foot facility was the sixth project Opus team members completed for the Decorah, Iowa, college. Using sustainable construction practices, the building achieved LEED Gold certification, making Luther College the first Iowa college to receive this designation for a science building.