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The Cove at KettlestoneThis building serves as a quiet backdrop; a simple building for a simple program. Each element exists because it is significant. Doors are camouflaged to simplify the structure’s presentation. Parapets are merely as tall as needed to adequately weatherproof. A screen to hide coolers is only a screen. An awning to house signage is just that. A pallet of four complementary materials selected for commodity and durability serve as an unassuming canvas.In general, the retail center has come to define the shopping experience of Iowans. These other so called ‘strip-malls’ have become ubiquitous to the milieu of the mid-west. However, this project’s subdued presence makes it stand out.   Location: Waukee, IowaProgram: CommercialArea:  15,920 Sq FtClient: Build to SuitPhoto Credits: Joseph Kastner, Des Lume Photo
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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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Rainbow Playsystems

by Brent Schipper· May 13, 2020· in · 0 comments
This project was developed to create a new showroom for Rainbow Play Systems in the Des Moines area. Masonry was selected for its durability in providing a backdrop to the playgrounds and colors contained within the building. The building is as exuberant as the play areas it contains but in a way that only a building can be. This character is created using brick’s stacked construction method; courses were offset 3⁄4” to create a texture without changing materials. The owner was required to meet stringent aesthetic ordinances that required durable exterior materials and variation of the form of the face. The design met this challenge by using brick with offset patterns and split face concrete masonry units to break up the large profile of the building. This design used brick because it does not require additional finishes meaning that it will not release toxins such as VOCs into the atmosphere. It’s durability is inherent, not applied.   Location: Grimes, IowaProgram: CommercialArea: 11,531 Sq FtClient: Rainbow of IowaPhoto Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio
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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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It is a box. A secure box. A fort. The emulation of the fort upon which this community is founded. Fort: a work established for the defense of a land or maritime frontier, of an approach to a town, or of a pass or river. Although the term originally denoted a small fortification garrisoned by troops, in North America it was used to designate virtually any establishment—civil or military—associated with protection from adversaries, regardless of whether any actual fortifications were included. This fort is designated to protect from the adversaries of weather and to always protect the bounties of Snickers bars and Powerade. The box is skewed from the agrarian grid beyond. It is the hub of the orientation of baseball. The walls are fort-like. A nearly impenetrable concrete with form work echoing the palisades of the historic fort. The high windows ensure security because this fort will stand alone 99% of its existence. The spaces are made pleasant by their daylight. The glow of the evening designates this civil establishment. The structure is timbered. The roof serves as a counterforts of sorts. The strength of the members are obvious. The colors are real. It is a fort that serves […]
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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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Leepfrog Technologies

by Brent Schipper· August 25, 2017· in · 0 comments
The design begins with a sketch by one of the clients.  It is a plan.  A sock shape that has three distinct parts: a foot, a heel and a leg.  This sketch represents the areas of software development (foot), business functions (leg) and the common areas of shared ideas and culture (heel).  The sketch would represent to basis of all design decisions. The building begins with its users; a technology company producing and selling software to universities for on-line course catalogs - the most successful and prolific company of its kind.  With a steady forecast of growth, the company seeks a headquarters that will support their business activities and reinforce and celebrate their culture. The company is led by a dynamic trio of technology savvy entrepreneurs who have an affinity for a partially wooded site, a respect for the individuals they employ and a pride in who they have become. The building is an extrusion of this parti.  The form emphasizes the importance of the software developers (devs) through the inclusion of a foil that delineates where the building “becomes” theirs.  The foil is literally a metallic insertion that is read from outside to inside.  The building changes languages from […]
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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: ASK Studio
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Marel

by askstudio-wp_soho· July 27, 2016· in · 0 comments
The interior architecture of this space, used by a manufacturer of food production machinery, is to reinforce this multinational company’s commitment to innovation. The design began with the procession of staff and visitors. A path was plotted from the front door, where visitors are given views of test kitchens and equipment demonstration areas, and led visitors through the facility along a datum referred to as the “Innovation Corridor”. This corridor takes everyone passed and through the business activities of accounting, customer service and marketing, where it ultimately leads to the engineering department aptly titled “Innovation.”   The resultant space is the product of using an existing rhythm overlaid with a procession to a goal. The drama of these simple parameters makes a space that is unique to the people and their product.   Location: Des Moines, IA Program: Office Area: 36,000 SF Client: Marel, Inc. Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio
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The Adair County Engineer needed additional office space; this goal required assembling a simple program within an unadorned shell that formally referenced the existing structures on site. Concrete serves as the floor in this new office building. The choice was necessitated by the fact that the office would see a lot of muddy feet and the floor would need to withstand frequent cleaning. The reflective floor surface highlights the colors that were used to accent the interior. Circulation spaces are defined by a green color on the ceiling while the reception and conference room sport an orange that is a nod to the paint on the trucks the department uses on a daily basis. The interior walls of the public space are given warmth by knotty pine tongue and groove car siding which helps to differentiate the public axis from the private offices.   Location: Greenfield, IA Program: Office Area: 2,500 SF Client: Adair County Engineer Photo Credits: Tara Maurer and Brent Schipper
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