Our Work

Dordt College

Sioux Center, Iowa

Confluence has led campus design and planning efforts for several enhancements and improvements to the Dordt College Campus:

Clock Tower: Confluence was tasked with developing a concept and construction documents for a new clock tower on the Dordt College campus with the goal of providing a landmark feature within the campus core.

The clock tower was designed as a component to a larger, central gathering space. It marks a place where students can congregate, socialize and reflect. This plaza provides a flexible area for public gatherings, speeches and musical events. An information kiosk is positioned adjacent to the tower to provide a location for news, announcements and other information. A low wall surrounds the plaza, providing a place for student interaction. Ornamental trees and grasses surround the clock tower, grounding it to the site and creating a sense of enclosure within in the plaza.

The design of the clock tower supports the identity of the college by honoring the faith and reflecting the mission that is at the center of the Dordt College experience. This campanile bears the hallmarks of a traditional building type; tall and slender with a strong grounded base and pronounced crown. It is anticipated that this space will become a time-honored campus landmark and place of great significance for generations of students, faculty and alumni.

Parking and Campus Improvements: Confluence was tasked to create a new vehicular entry and signage, landscape features and additional parking for the Campus. This new entry feature, complete with brick and ornamental metal work, serves as the front door for vehicles entering Campus and leads them to visitor parking and the recently constructed Campus Center Commons facility drop-off.

In addition to the visitor’s parking lot, new parking lots were created for the DeWitt Gymnasium and the BJ Hahn auditorium to provide over 230 new spaces for the Campus. An existing parking lot was removed to make room for a new Campus Green along a primary pedestrian corridor – which had become a growing source of pedestrian and automobile conflicts.  To preserve water resources, large ornamental grass planting areas were implemented and traditional irrigated turf areas were replaced with drought-tolerant rhizomatous short grasses throughout the redeveloped portions of Campus.

Gateway Entry Improvements: For over 30 years, the primary intersection entry and first impression of the Dordt College Campus was the site of Sioux Center’s Water Treatment Plant.  Once removed in 2007, this 1.5-acre area provided enormous potential for improving the arrival experience to the Dordt Campus. Confluence was selected to develop new Campus gateway signage and entry improvements.

“A college campus dedicated to faith, life and learning”….it was important to be able to see this statement of faith reflected in the development of the new identification signage.  Programming and concepts were created over a two-day on-site design charrette.  Wayfinding signage was incorporated into freestanding architectural piers in order to direct visitors to important Campus destinations. A new primary walkway leads to the heart of campus. Native plantings and ornamental grasses form the backdrop of the new campus identification signage, and these planting areas are also utilized as a teaching laboratory by the horticulture department.