Bloomfield Public Library

by Brent Schipper· November 28, 2018· in · 0 comments
The library was a gift from the Carnegie Foundation steeped in heritage and its existing historic fabric was critical. The new addition had to echo this character. We closely read its past through photographs, learning its language. We then wrote a considered sequel. The new roof shrugs beneath the elder roof, a respectful gesture to the latter’s age. Inside new finishes and lighting carefully highlight important features of the old library while enlightening readers. A central entry hall binds the new program to the old structure while giving more visitors access. The project team closely observed every aspect, including a railing in the entry hall and the furniture that would fill the space; in this architecture, as in writing, the punctuation was as important as the narrative. It is a thoughtful extension to a repository of thought. Location: Bloomfield, IA Program: Public Client: City of Bloomfield Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio
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Monroe Place Apartments

by Brent Schipper· November 21, 2018· in · 0 comments
School bells were swapped for doorbells. The redevelopment of the 1961 Monroe Elementary School into a 19-unit affordable housing apartment building is a model for preserving an underutilized structure, giving it a new lease on life while helping to solve an affordable housing shortage.  As the first school building in Cedar Rapids to be converted into housing, Monroe Place was designed with the surrounding neighborhoods and families in mind. This project consisted of redesigning classrooms into two, three, and four-bedroom apartment units within the existing footprint of the building and without subdivision of the historic spaces.  The repurposing of this historic elementary school is a fundamental precedent for preserving underused buildings and making sound choices in use of an existing infrastructure to strengthen Cedar Rapids communities. Monroe Place reinforces the existing relationship amongst the original 1961 elementary school and the adjacent neighborhood for years to come. For residents of Monroe Place, it’s the opportunity to live affordably in a uniquely designed yet familiar space. The school is awash in color with an original mural and ceramic tile, in many hues, lining the building’s corridors. Original wood doors, hallway tile and cubbies were still in excellent condition. The long and wide […]
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Valley Station

by Brent Schipper· December 08, 2017· in · 0 comments
Located in the historic Valley Junction area of West Des Moines, Valley Station is a senior housing development which pulls cues from 1920s train stations to bring them to a residential scale.  Exaggerated overhangs, ornate brackets and an emphasized roof structure come together to pay homage to this historic place.  The entry ‘platform’ acts as a staging for patrons waiting for their ride or simply to enjoy the courtyard framed by the buildings.  A mix of 2-bedroom units offers a variety of plan configurations, all of which are fully adaptable.   The project represents a design/build delivery for a client who has used ASK Studio for over a decade encompassing over 20 projects across the state of Iowa.  The project was built in phases due to funding requirements and the design build team worked with owner to create a design and construction sequence that coordinated with funding timing.   Location: West Des Moines, Iowa Program: Senior Living Client: Community Housing Initiatives Area: 31,632 SF Photo Credits: Timothy Hursley
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Riverview Park was an amusement park operating from 1915 to 1978.  The park included the Riviera Ballroom, a nationally-known venue.  No remnants remain.  The site is bare. Riviera Stage is the celebration of a city’s history and a neighborhood’s pride. It is a venue for performance intended to echo the purpose and import of the Riviera Ballroom, which once hosted the likes of Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Lawrence Welk and Glenn Miller. The modern form of the structure belies a series of historical references woven into the design. The open-air venue harkens back to the Riviera’s original open-air design with open side walls and exterior seating areas, the barrel trusses reflect the past legend’s structure and the stage will rest near the spot where the Duke once thrilled crowds. The design’s celebration is rooted in making a place for a vibrancy that has been hushed for nearly four decades. It creates a spirit of adventure through soaring elements that recall the daring of yesterdays “Coaster” and “Wild Mouse”. It is intended to be magical—just like all the ghost structures of the island.  The island will again be home to legends, laughter and dancing.   Location: Des Moines, Iowa Area: Unbuilt […]
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Kibbey Building

by Brent Schipper· November 29, 2017· in · 0 comments
The redevelopment of the Kibbey Building and its adjacent site is a model for small town Iowa main streets.  The project consisted of the insertion of 4 apartment units on the second floor of the structure and the redevelopment of the adjacent empty site into a community park. The project’s design was intended to preserve a historic fabric of Main Street.  Literally. The project serves as an example of the success in building repurposing, but as a special model in use of neglected and empty sites that erode the downtown fabric.  The park embraces the empty corner lot giving it life and purpose.   The public canopy supports PV panels used for lighting and power for irrigation pumps.  The irrigation system is an active way of conditioning storm water in the hardscape area of downtown and is fed by a storm water management cistern below the Kibbey parking lot.   The project is also an example that positive change can happen in small steps.  One small building and one bare lot are now making a difference to a community and serving as an example to many others.   Location: Marshalltown, Iowa Program: Housing, Residential, Preservation Client: Downtown Leases and Lofts, LLC. Photo […]
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Ames Bike Rack

by askstudio-wp_soho· March 04, 2016· in · 0 comments
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” - H.G.Wells The Ames Community Art Council sponsored a design/build competition to create bike racks for the City of Ames. ASK Studio submitted two designs and they were so well received, the Council requested a total of three racks to be constructed. Our design for Written Word seeks to connect people of Ames, the bicycle, and the significance of written knowledge. Reminiscent of a hanging banner, it makes text its primary feature. These quotes are cut out of the metal “banner”, allowing light to stream through, spreading the glowing, written word onto the bicycles and surfaces behind. The design for Cycle Tracks derives its form from a 1902 map of Ames. Weathered steel rails on the ground recall the primary east-west railroad of the Dinkey, steel rectangular frames are placed according to the street grid of the town. Etched into the steel rails is the quote by H. G. Wells: “Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.”   Location:  Ames, IA Program:  Public Good Area:  Public Space Client:  Ames Community Arts Council Photo Credits:  Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio
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Winterset Parklet

by askstudio-wp_soho· February 27, 2016· in · 0 comments
A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Usually parklets are installed on parking lanes and use several parking spaces. The term parklet was not recognized by spellcheck at the time this project was designed and built. The organizers of the Preserve Iowa Summit in Winterset, Iowa, asked architects from around the state to design and build parklets for the community and Summit participants to use during the three day event. While the Summit emphasizes historic structures, Preserve Iowa believed this gathering could benefit from experiencing a relatively new design concept that is be employed in many major cities as a way to reclaim the streetscape for people. ASK Studio choose to design and build a parklet that loosely references the storied bridge structures in the County of Madison and its county seat, Winterset. The design not only made use of historicism as an architectural form maker, it also considered sense of space, circulation and delight. The design was a Studio wide effort and the build also was the result of all thirteen members of the Studio—plus a few construction “ringers”. We believe our efforts taught us about community and taught […]
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“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”  - Albert Camus The project is a shelter space located away from an apartment entry to allow a protected location for residents to smoke. The shelter was imagined as a yard sculpture and its purpose was not to be readily apparent. The space was required to "hide" smokers during the day, but allow persons to be seen after dark and by security cameras for safety. It is a simple assemblage of concrete, composite wood and metal. Metal screening on the south side was used to be opaque from the street during the day and transparent for safety at night. The project had a very modest budget, as a result, project design and much of project construction was done pro-bono, with architects and contractors donating time and material resources to get the project built. Members of ASK Studio were out on site to help build parts of the project.    Location: Des Moines, IA Program:  Shelter Area: 120 SF Client: Corinthian Gardens Apartments Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio      
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