If you’ve watched much college football in recent years, then you may know about “The Wave,” in which football players and fans at Kinnick Stadium turn to the east and wave to the kids across the street in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The round, organic shapes and contours of this building contribute to a friendly, comforting atmosphere for children and their families. Tremendous research and treatment have been occurring at the U of I Hospitals and Clinics for over 100 years, and we are so grateful to have been involved in this facility’s construction back in the Fall of 2012.


This project included approximately 1,000 curved panels following three-dimensional contours on the drive-up canopy and one of the two unique soffit designs on the hospital itself. Depending on its position in the ellipse, each piece had a specific shape, and was one-of-a-kind. Thanks to modeling technology, each piece of the curved surfaces were able to be virtually flattened. This allowed for our CNC routers to cut the surfaces and our shop assembly team to shape each panel by hand. The panels arrived on site ready for a perfect fit.

We built two mockups for this project: one for the 12th floor soffit, and one for the 3rd floor soffit. The Stead Family Children’s Hospital has a window washing trolly with a rail system, and we needed to ensure that our panels could interface with this system before fabricating and installing on the 12th floor. The 3rd floor soffit consisted of honeycomb Larcore panels from Alucoil, and we hung the elliptical mockup panels from our shop ceiling to ensure that the actual viewing angle was satisfactory for our customer. No issues were encountered in the mockup process and were able to proceed as planned!


Iowa City is densely developed and tightly packed, and our construction area was no exception. We needed to be sure that the job site was not crowded by delivery vehicles or crates of material. We coordinated shipping times, and packed materials strategically so they could be delivered to the specific areas where they would be installed.

We are so grateful to have been involved in this iconic facility’s creation, and would love to help you with yours!

Project details

  • // Number of Panels: 1300
  • // Square Feet of Material: 31000
  • // MDSi System(s) Used: Series 44 and custom
  • // Color(s) Used: Champagne Pearl and Iced Cappuccino
  • // Year Completed: 2018
  • // Location: Iowa City, IA

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