515-277-6707

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
Read More

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 […]
Read More

Captain Roy’s

by Brent Schipper· September 10, 2018· in · 0 comments
It was a shed. It had few distinguishing features.  There was a patina.  Some caused by fire, some caused by flood and still more caused by an unfortunate choice of paint. The shed seemed to have nothing, except a position. This position is defined as:                 In a park                 Along a bike trail                 Beside a river                 Near a marina To just a few, it was obvious that this was nirvana. A resurrection was required to make a position into a place. A food truck was to be the gravity to this position.  It was orange.  A fortunate choice of paint. The shed would protect the food truck, contain bathrooms and a bar. The site would be further defined by an asphalt floor dining room under strings of lights, a deck for thinking and drinking and a performance stage repurposed from an ailing pontoon boat. And bike racks. People came to the position.  They came by auto, boat, bike and motor bike.  They were fed from the food truck, served drinks from the shed and witnessed music emanating from a grounded pontoon craft.  The position is now a place called Captain Roy’s. The color choices have been fortunate. […]
Read More

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
Read More
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 […]
Read More

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 […]
Read More

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
Read More