The Ecklund Lounge stands at the juncture of Currier Residence Hall and Stanley Residence Hall, two major residence halls, and is named after David Ecklund, Associated Residence Halls president in 1978. The lounge was built as a component of Stanley Hall but now serves both residences. Carrie Stanley was a professor in the University of Iowa’s English Department for thirty-four years and founded the University’s Writing Laboratory.
Marking the south end of Stanley Hall, the polygonal structure consists of a brick podium and curtain wall of dark-tinted glass. A distinctive serrated cornice lends a sense of playfulness appropriate to the small structure’s social function. The jaunty profile continues in the accordion canopy of the exterior stairs, which is a counterpart to the turquoise-trimmed undulating wave-canopy that once graced the front of nearby Burge Residence Hall (removed 2004) and the zigzag canopy at Daum Residence Hall (both were also designed by Altfillisch). The tiny interior is one of the most unusual to be found anywhere on campus. The ceiling follows the ups and downs of the exterior roofline, but a saucerlike indoor awning supported on pilotis and with a light-admitting oculus in the center fills the space. Like something from a dream or perhaps a 1950s science fiction movie, this strange and unanticipated object resolves the angular profile of the exterior into a soft-edged expanding cloud. Whether this bizarre shape was designed for its acoustical properties is unknown, but the fantasy world conjured by Ecklund Lounge provides an ideal respite for students seeking refuge from the busy campus outside.
The building is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information contact University Housing 335-3000.