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 The neighborhood wanted a structure rooted in historical references, but not mimicking the nearby structures.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 of the form. The use of metal shingles fit the Deco lexis of machine-made repetitive patterns found at the archetypical vertical pronouncement of entry.
The building is contemporary. It is moderne. It is respectful.
Location: Des Moines, IowaIngersoll
Area: 39,036 Sq Ft
Client: Newbury Living
Photo Credits: Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio