Blank Honors Center

Blank Honors Center

Blank Honors Center

What You'll Find Here

  • Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
  • Honors Program


221 North Clinton
Formal Name: 
Blank Honors Center
HLKB Architecture, Des Moines, Iowa

Named for Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank of Des Moines, the Blank Honors Center is home to the University Honors Program and the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank Center for Gifted Education, which honors the work of Connie Belin, an Iowa educator and former member of the State Board of Regents. The building houses classrooms, offices, gathering spaces, and a food service area, as well as special meeting rooms devoted to the honors program. A connecting bridge links the center with the honors floor of the adjacent residence hall, Daum Hall.

A dark, monolithic glass-and-steel box, the building’s neo-Miesian aspects recall the International style. The machine aesthetic is everywhere in evidence, contrasting the simplicity of its design with the complexity of the program and the architect’s environment-friendly concept. (The Blank Honors Center is one of the first University buildings to incorporate aspects of “green architecture.”) The west-facing façade has a double-glazed curtain wall whose outermost screen functions as a filter reducing the effect of the afternoon sun without the use of solar baffles.

An aura of monumentality is conjured by a massive stone wall, which dominates the north elevation and rises above the roofline, laterally bisecting the building. The presence of this sheer masonry backdrop, the façade screen, and the absence of fuss coalesce in an Honors Center of austere elegance.


The building is accessible to persons with disabilities. It is connected to the Daum Residence Hall via a skybridge at the third floor.

Both entrances on the north and south sides of the building are accessible to wheelchairs and are equipped with power door openers.
The nearest designated accessible parking is located in the North Campus Parking Ramp directly to the northwest. The vehicular entrance to the parking ramp is located at the north end of Madison Street. Exit the parking ramp to the east to access BHC.
All public restrooms in the building are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The building elevator is located between the north and south entrance.