Hardin Library for Health Sciences

Hardin Library for Health Sciences

Hardin Library for the Health Sciences

What You'll Find Here

  • Health Science Library
  • Human Subjects Office
  • John Martin Rare Book Room
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region Office


600 Newton Road
Formal Name: 
Hardin Library for Health Sciences
Walter Netsch of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Chicago, Illinois

The Hardin Library for the Health Sciences consolidates the collections of five health science libraries—medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, and speech pathology. Its namesake, Dr. Robert C. Hardin, was dean of the College of Medicine from 1962 until 1969 and also served as the University of Iowa’s vice president for health affairs under President Willard L. Boyd. Hardin also ran the Blood Transfusion Service for the European theater during the Normandy invasion of World War II. The building was renamed in his honor in 1988.
The design of the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences is based on the Field Theory (or shifted grid) method popularized by its architect, Walter Netsch. In this case a grid of squares is rotated forty-five degrees to produce a more versatile plan. The difference here is that, unlike at the Bowen Science Building or the Lindquist Center, the geometrical “field” morphs from one level to the next, moving from rotated square, to octagon, to Greek Cross. The building’s façadeless elevation is nevertheless still entirely a function of the plan at each level. Diagonals and pyramidal volumes play off one another and emphasize the primacy of the plan. The site performs an influential role in the design; the slope of the land allows the building a low profile as seen from the campus side to the south, with a single-story entrance that masks the bulk of the multistory building below. Hardin Library is constituted of interrupted planes of textured concrete—again, a Brutalist gesture by Netsch. Clusters of white skylights project above and dip below the roofline, creating a strong geo- metrical effect that also brings light into the interior. The expressive nature of Late Modernism is embodied in the architect’s notion that the stepped interior pathway through the building and down to the lower level suggests walking into a book.


The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.

The building is reached from the sidewalk on the south side of Newton Road. The accessible entrance is located on the north side of the building. An additional accessible entrance is located on the south side of the building. Both entrances are equipped with power door openers.
There is a small metered lot, with designated parking for person with disabilities, on the north side of the building off of Newton Road. Additional parking is available in Newton Road Parking Ramp.
An accessible restroom for each sex is located in the building. Both are located on the third floor level near the main entrance to the building. The men's restroom is Room 320 and the women's restroom is Room 321. There is also a single-user, gender-inclusive restroom located in Room 309.
The building elevator is located in the center of the building.