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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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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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Ligutti Tower Terrace

by Brent Schipper· September 26, 2017· in · 0 comments
We look for opportunities to use metal in its simplest configuration. The beauty is found in the utility of its forms with simple requirements for weathering and exposure. Our insertion on an urban rooftop uses metal as building structure, sculpture and boundary. With a simple and unadorned collection of metal components we create space, add layers and provide focus. All with a material that can withstand the winds of tall building canyons, while needing very little maintenance. Metal effortlessly is a vertical element, then a horizontal element. The collection of prefabricated elements are minimally detailed, allowing users to appreciate the forms and rhythms of frame, fluted decking and welded wire panels. While rigid as structure and rhythm, metal is malleable in form and purpose. The structural frame begins as building, then transforms to trellis like no other material would allow. The material is used simply highlighting characteristics that are uniquely metal.   Location: Des Moines, Iowa Program: Housing, Urban Space Client: Newbury Living Photo Credits: Timothy Hursley
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The Roosevelt High School was built in 1888 in Clinton Iowa.  It had been patinaed with over 120 of constant use when the local school district deemed it too expensive to use and maintain. A developer who had decade before restored nearby Louis Sullivan building, sought out the building to give it new life as affordable housing.  She referred to the building as having great bones.  The architects were more than thrilled to help repurpose the building and without pause informed her that “those bones” were solid and ready for another hundred years. The challenges were numerous and the rules simple.  Respect. The charge of the design team was the insertion of 16 apartments within a school containing about 14,000-square feet and 7 classrooms and a large gathering area space while maintaining the integrity of the existing walls and spaces.  (Each unit containing a washer/dryer, individual HVAC units, bath and kitchen fans and no penetrations through the historic brick envelope.) The process utilized ALL historic walls and left the main hall unchanged.  The second floor utilized units with mezzanine level bedrooms to squeeze in all of the possible living area in while respecting the beautiful two-story window units.  A special […]
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F.O. Eagles Building

by askstudio-wp_soho· August 12, 2016· in · 0 comments
The Fraternal Order of the Eagles building is again occupied after a dramatic restoration, transforming the empty building into office space and apartments for the residents of Perry, IA. Originally constructed in 1905, the building occupies a small but unique site on a block recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Highlights of the restoration include the reuse of oak kitchen cabinets and wood doors throughout the four, second-floor units, as well as the unveiling of a large skylight that had been roofed over in one unit. Oak room dividers with glass door cases were also retained and reused to mark the divide between dining and living areas. The building underwent accessibility upgrades, as well as significant restoration of exterior masonry and interior walls. Location: Perry, IA Program: Mixed-Use Client: Nudgers, Inc. Photo Credits: Tara Maurer
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MacRae Terrace

by Brent Schipper· July 27, 2016· in · 0 comments
Housing projects can be used to intervene in the erosion of neighborhoods, but often it is difficult to support the costs of single family housing, even when the existing deteriorating stock is of that archetype. This particular intervention occurs on a site once occupied by a single family home on an intensely loud and fast street, adjacent to a bar and kiddy corner from an unused commercial structure. The development of the site was dim; but, it overlooked a park.   The building disengages from the noise and speed of the street. It visually connects directly to the beauty of the park with large expanses of glass and Juliet balconies opening to the sites tree-filled views. The fenestration is limited and functional on the other exposures. Thematically, the honesty of the fenestration is echoed in the massing of mechanical units on the building face, while the irregularity of elements such as siding and canopies are the building’s voice of embrace.   The building is all about life with trees.     Location: Des Moines, IA Program: Residential Area: 7,000 SF Client: Neighborhood Development Corporation Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio 
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Wildwood Hills Ranch

by askstudio-wp_soho· March 04, 2016· in · 0 comments
Nestled on a hill overlooking a small lake, Wildwood Hills Ranch greets kids with a familiarity that is Iowan. Two shed forms come together—reminiscent of a collection of agrarian farm buildings so common to this area of quiet century farms—which remain checked by non-tillable interludes. The program is simple: space to house and feed campers. The challenge is to connect the campers to the beauty of the place, the serenity of the rural landscape and always consider the beneficial connectivity of good social behavior and the potential dangers of poor behavior. Materiality is kept simple, both in keeping with the existing camp vernacular and to meet the budget needs of a pro-bono project, where donated material and manpower is highly valued and necessary. Of utmost importance was the functionality of the design for camper care. The first floor purposely does not connect with the first floor inside the building in an effort to keep campers together and increase camper visibility. It allows staff to focus more on their raison d’etre: to transform lives and strengthen communities.   Location: St. Charles, IA Program:  Camp Lodge Area: 9,370 SF Client: Venter Spooner Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio  
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The project provides an addition to house a 42 bed Residential Facility serving correctional clients from the community participating in work release programs or as conditions of their sentence. The addition also provides needed square footage to serve the probation, parole, and administrative functions of the facility. Approximately 3,600 square feet was remodeled in the existing building to enhance its operations and increase safety of the staff, public, and residents. The two story building is oriented to the south of the current facility with a connection to the existing building. The new design was based upon respecting the existing facility’s aesthetic and operations. It mimics the existing building in program, plan and materiality, but simply states its more contemporary origins. An added benefit of its plan is the partial enclosure it creates for a courtyard that is used by the residents. Slated to be a LEED certified building, the design maximizes healthy and energy conserving day-lit spaces throughout.   Location: Sioux City, IA Program:  Office/Residential Corrections Area: 18,550 SF Addition Client: Iowa Department of Corrections Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio  
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Plymouth Place

by askstudio-wp_soho· March 04, 2016· in · 0 comments
Plymouth place is a 12-story structure that is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The building has been classified as exceptionally significant by the National Park Service. The project is a quiet renovation, respecting the existing historic fabric, while updating systems, finishes and windows. The project reestablishes the building as an icon on the Des Moines skyline and makes the project a highly sought after address once again. The existing 175 units were combined into 135 larger units. The public areas were refitted with new finishes, additional amenities and furnishings. Also included is an exercise area, library and lounge areas. The final interiors were designed to complement the original 1960’s lines of the architecture, as well as provide a comfortable and colorful living space suitable for the anticipated demographic.   Location: Des Moines, IA Program:  Residential Area: 113,709 SF Client: Newbury Living Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio  
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