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 original doors were retained and restored.
The Bryn Mawr continues to shelter.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Area: 19,200 Sq Ft
Client: Newbury Living
Photo Credits: Joseph Kastner