At first glance, the humble state of Iowa, located in the heart of the American Midwest, might seem an unlikely location for the work of starchitects. Home to just over three million residents spread across a handful of small cities, the state is one of the least populated in the United States. Largely driven by agriculture and academia, the state has maintained a relatively tame architectural landscape—until now.
The crown jewel of the Faena Arts complex, The Forum, anchors two city blocks of OMA-designed Faena buildings. Clad in a stark white facade punctuated by a jagged mosaic of 350 angular windows, the building’s two volumes create a unique set of interior and exterior spaces that host a wide range of functions.