Inside BNIM’s Des Moines Offices

  • Client BNIM,
  • size 5,500 sqft
  • Year 2012
  • Location Des Moines, Iowa, United States,
  • Industry Architecture Firm,
  • Architecture firm BNIM has recently developed a new office design for its office in Des Moines, Iowa. Completed in 2012, the space spans 5,500 square feet and gives the team a collaborative and bright work environment.

    Providing an environment of collaboration in a space that engages the surrounding urban core established the fundamental strategy for this project. Located within a former bank lobby on the southeast corner of an active street intersection, boundaries to the interior shell include full height glazing to the north and west, building lobby to the south, and a new demising wall to the east.

    Designed as an open studio to foster collaboration, the volume of the space was maintained with minimal insertions of partial height elements to harvest daylight and define programmatic functions. Planning that responded to the formal existing window module established a rigorous spatial organization of all improvements, reinforcing the interior diagram and engaging the public at street level.

    The parti is organized around a central wall that bridges the north and south limits of the space. Clad in a continuous rhythm of cork panels for critiques, spontaneous collaboration and display, this interactive wall creates an edge to the studio environment and defines an open conference area and kitchen/library/workspace. Shared daylight, acoustics, and multiple levels of planned and unplanned interaction are vital parts of achieving the spirit of collaboration set forth as the key design objective. Adjacent and fully visible to the street corner, the studio has brought life to the street level and helped foster a rejuvenation of the urban core.

    This project incorporates a number of sustainable strategies, beginning with the tenant’s goal to assist in revitalizing the urban core of the city. Occupying an interior space in an existing building at street level that had been vacant for several years and revitalizing an active street intersection within a struggling urban core of fleeing tenants were key project decisions to promote and sustain a healthy urban relationship.

    The interior open plan diagram with tall ceilings and partial height walls provides 100% daylight in all regularly occupied spaces. The studio is located adjacent to the existing full height glass to achieve views with a 90 degree spectrum. A mirrored film was removed from the glass to improve daylighting and views from the space, and to allow views into the space and animate the street. The wall providing for critique, spontaneous collaboration and display also engages and activates the streetscape by the display of work in progress.

    Strategies also include the adaptive reconfiguration of existing custom furniture components from the tenant’s previous location, use of materials with recycled content including carpet and cork display panels, low VOC paint, zoned lighting for evening use, and the procurement of new furniture from companies with high sustainability missions. All metal material that was retrieved from demolition was recycled and proceeds donated to a local animal organization.

    Design: BNIM
    Photography: © Assassi