Ullem Chapel

by Brent Schipper· November 23, 2021· in · 0 comments
It was imagined as a place to consider a place. A framed view of cows on green hills where there have been cows on green hills for generations of this family owned farm.  The focus of the frame is a century tree that is the ranch marker used for wayfinding throughout the hills.  The structure is to be spiritual.  A chapel without denomination or creed; simply considering a place.  The materials are to speak of agrarian frugality; sensible for a temporal insertion on a land that hides the ruins of houses belonging to past stewards in the nearby trees.  It is white because that is the color of churches and corn cribs in this plain-spoken part of the Midwest. The march of the horizontal wall slats feels familiar, but in this context with gothic arches, there is a tension.  When the horizontal slats begin to form the roof plane, the tension approaches heresy. The structure appears vernacular on the horizon, but upon examination its amalgam of materials and systems can be understood as novel; an understanding which is only known to those that visit. It is a crib. It is a chapel. It is not to be readily understood.  Spirituality […]
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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 The modern form of the structure belies a series of historical references woven into the design.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 Client: City […]
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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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