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Aspen Athletic

by Brent Schipper· October 14, 2021· in · 0 comments
Location: Des Moines, IA Program: Gymnasium  Area: 25,287 SF Photo Credits: Joseph Kastner
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The Bridges

by Brent Schipper· November 30, 2020· in · 0 comments
The design of the Bridges Lofts is based on capitalizing on the qualities of a site: it affords views of the Mississippi and is visible from thousands of vehicles crossing the bridge every day. The design is also guided by the principles of new urbanism. Fundamentally, the project increases the density of the city core, advancing the discernable center. It creates an urban edge that focuses on the building rather than parking.  It engages the street with diversity of purpose.  It’s introduction to the community was a catalyst for change in downtown Bettendorf. The building has a commercial and parking base with 4 stories of dwellings above.  The building is a saw-toothed “U” shape which affords views toward the river for nearly 80% of the 132 units.  The center of the “U” is home to green space commons and a swimming pool.  The building beckons the city with attention grabbing geometry. It engages the neighborhood through a human scale with balconies and commerce on State Street, and finally, creates an internal community engagement with an organization around the green space commons and a spectacular rooftop patio. Focusing on site attributes has produced a building that is a success as a […]
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THE BRENTON

by Brent Schipper· November 24, 2020· in · 0 comments
The building was originally designed as a bank.  The Brenton Banks were a family owned chain of successful financial institutions known for embracing the formalism and narrative of modern architecture. The Brenton, as the building is now aptly named, is not simply modern.  It is New Formalism, a style which emerged in the 1960s as a rejection to the rigid form of Modernism.  The style represents one of many 20th century efforts to wed the building forms of the past with new forms enabled by new material technologies.  New Formalist buildings embraced many Classical precedents such as building proportion and scale, classical columns, highly stylized entablatures, and colonnades.   Here the style was representative of banking and business much like Neo Classism was the language of commerce for centuries before. The introduction of a residential program into a classically gridded temple of commerce had elements that inserted easily, but the introduction of foreign systems like increasing the number of plumbing fixtures ten-fold required careful consideration, especially at the Teller Lobby.  The lobby is a space critical to understanding the buildings hierarchy of space and structural grid.  The office areas at each end of the buildings were refitted to living units, including […]
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SCOTTISH RITE PARK ADDITION

by Brent Schipper· November 23, 2020· in · 0 comments
The existing building is 11 stories of highly repetitive elements set in a cartesian grid.  It is a concrete monolith.  It is Brutalist. The aspiration was to make the building more youthful.  Quite literally to appeal to a younger demographic from the outside and to live younger for the residents who call this community home.  The design team helped to imagine a way of receiving guests based on hospitality paradigms and challenged the archaic terminology and environment of the “Dining Room” with a “Bistro” containing a bar.  The addition, which adds less than 1% to the square footage of the community, transforms how the residents live and gather.  It also serves as a visual  invitation into the building that was often described as cold and uninviting. The entry is focused on a concierge station with mail boxes forming a boundary for the lobby spaces.  The goal is to allow the community to have an active purpose of retrieving mail in the lobby.  Residents engage the lobby and each other around this daily activity.  The lobby has a hearth, an eddy where conversations from the mailboxes can be continued. The bistro on the upper level is focused on views.  The all […]
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4000 INGERSOLL

by Brent Schipper· November 23, 2020· in · 0 comments
The design is a distillation of the neighborhood character; a synthesis of building codes, zoning set-backs, adherence to a proforma and respect:  A respect for the opinions expressed in neighborhood meetings, the neighborhood context, a house painstakingly moved to a new location and mature trees that remained. The adjacent structures were significant structures in the historic district.  The neighborhood wanted a structure rooted in historical references, but not mimicking the nearby structures. The design team evaluated the neighborhood stylistically and plotted the successful interventions in recent history.  The most extolled buildings of the last 50 years were clearly modern, but neighborhood discussions that ensued pointed to a building that was “moderne” rather than modern. A direction that struck a communal chord was Art Deco. The design team embraced the challenge of reference, opting specifically for horizontal emphasis of the late Art Deco phase or concurrent movement of Art Moderne.  The building is an alchemy of style; nautical references, extended roof edges, deference to horizontal lines in moments of shadow and in the application of siding are all derived from Art Moderne precedents.   There are obvious Art Deco gestures, including window groupings with masonry frames and the fenestration’s challenge to corners […]
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Bryn Mawr

by Brent Schipper· May 27, 2020· in · 0 comments
Bryn Mawr shares a name with a small Pennsylvania city.  The term Bryn Mawr means is a Welsh term meaning large hill.  The name fits the site, which has views toward downtown Des Moines.   The structure was built in 1918 and had always served as an apartment building. The building had fallen into a state of disrepair and its quiet presence was under appreciated. It was not attracting renters despite a stellar location it’s patinaed historic character.The renovation of the Bryn Mawr was centered on keeping the past as a focus, while modernizing sensitively with respectful materials.  In the century since it was built, the very economical use of living space has once again become prevalent.  The units are small, featuring efficiency kitchens and abundant windows.  With small units are once again in demand and the Bryn Mawr offers a unique environment in a market of many newly constructed efficiencies.The project included the introduction of air-conditioning, fire sprinklers and envelope upgrades including repointing the brick to match the original mortar.  The units were enhanced with updated kitchens, refinished wood floors and bathrooms featuring “penny” tile surfaces.  The closets, which once housed murphy beds, were converted to clothing closets, while the […]
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3801 Grand

by Brent Schipper· May 27, 2020· in · 0 comments
The project scope was small in physical size.  It encompassed an entry, reception lobby and dining room.  The project intention, however, was to update the ambiance of the entire facility through the upgrades to these key spaces which illuminate the character of care afforded to the residents. It was the expectation of families and residents that the act of receiving guests be akin to a fine hotel and dining an experience similar to a select restaurant.  The palette for the upgrades is warm and elegant, but stylistically the character in intentionally contemporary with cues from vogue examples of hospitality venues.  The design is a material assemblage staged around arrivals.  The first arrival of visitors to the reception and the second, but equally important the daily arrival of residents to the dining room.  Each arrival is a progression through layers of intimate space with the gravity of a hearth in the datum of both paths.3801 Grand uses the hearth as a marker of home and a memory of welcoming.  It is a part of every arrival.  It is the thoughtful act of entrance.   Location: Des Moines, IowaProgram: HousingArea:  3800 Sq FtClient:  Newbury LivingPhoto Credits: ASK Studio
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The redevelopment of the 75-year-old Phenix Elementary School into a 17-unit apartment building for local artists is a model for responsible historic preservation to better a community. The goal of this project was to help bolster the local art scene in Historic Valley Junction by linking the residential neighborhood to this blooming creative scene. The project consisted of the conversion of classrooms and offices into one, two and three-bedroom apartments and studio work spaces for artists. The Art Deco style of the building seems poetically suited for its new purpose in the community. The repurposing of this historic elementary school is a fundamental tack in preserving a historic Iowa neighborhood and making sound choices in use of an existing infrastructure to reconnect the residential and local art scenes. The completed building reinforces the live/work relationships found amongst local Des Moines artists for years to come. For residents of Phenix School Apartments, it’s the opportunity to curate artistic growth. What once was a trading and shipping post, Historic Valley Junction is now one of the main spots for artists to flourish in the Des Moines area. The project serves as an example of the success in building repurposing, but a special […]
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Marquette Hall Flats

by Brent Schipper· May 13, 2020· in · 0 comments
School bells were swapped for doorbells. The repurposing of the 1880 Marquette School into 28 affordable dwellings is a model for preserving an underutilized structure. A structure which was patinaed with over 100 years of constant use. The neighborhood was built around this structure and its use was gone, but the need for the its presence remained and a need for affordable housing in the community continued to grow. This project consisted of redesigning classrooms into one- and two-bedroom apartment units within the existing footprint of the building and without subdivision of the historic spaces. The original wood doors, grand stairs and beautiful floors were in excellent condition and are featured in the repurposing. The long and wide corridors, expansive use of glazing and are all preserved and allow the building to express its unique character and past and create extraordinary living environments in a new neighborhood created within an old neighborhood. The transformation is obvious, there was no attempt to “modernize”. The new use is allowed by the building structure, but it remains steadfast in representing it’s past. A classroom becomes a bedroom by purpose and furnishings. The corridors are now home to seating areas. The building has changed […]
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The new home for Community and Family Resources is the result of a five-year partnership that began with programming and site selection and culminated in making architecture that’s serves to heal. The building brings together programs previously housed in three separate facilities. CFR charged the design team with allowing them to better serve their clients, while being more efficient due to the constant struggle of limited funds.  The design is based on achieving a residential scale and feel in a building that is much larger than the neighboring single family and multifamily residences in the neighborhood. The plan uses wings to break the roof line into smaller scale elements while the wings allow for security and privacy between disparate program elements of children’s zone, female zone, male zone and flexible orientation zone. The roof is a familiar shingled pitch in a hip shape. The hip allowed the implementation of prairie elements in the fenestration pattern and deep overhangs for the texture of shadows and sun control for energy efficiency.The connect wings result in campus which includes housing components, office space, community meeting spaces. The campus aids CFR in caring for “One Life at a Time”, “One Day at a Time”. […]
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