909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation

Location
Des Moines, Iowa
Year
2018
Size
215,000 SF

Client
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

Project Team
Todd Garner
Yasmine Killeen
Paolo Orlando
Matt Rodekamp

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture
909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB) sought a building solution that would support their goals of increasing collaboration, flexibility, and activity-based solutions for their burgeoning team. After working with Substance Architecture to vet multiple options, the cooperative decided on the purchase and full renovation of an existing office building in downtown Des Moines. In close partnership with Substance, FHLB oversaw the transformation of the 215,000-square foot, six-story building into a state-of-the-art and amenity-rich multi-tenant workspace that not only meets FHLB's specific goals but those of other building tenants including Dwolla, LightEdge Solutions, EcoEngineers, and Accenture.


909 Locust was designed and built in the early 1990s and had served a single, very large tenant that had subsequently relocated. FHLB commissioned Substance to improve the image of the building—particularly the building’s interior spaces and systems—and re-brand it to be attractive to a set of new, independent technology firms. The design re-conceived the public spaces of the building, namely the lobby and skywalk, to create a set of shared amenities for the building occupants including technology-enabled conference spaces, a health club, and a new Starbucks coffee shop.

These spaces draw employees together and foster connections between the disparate tenants. New, upgraded technology facilitates mobility for the building’s tenants as well. As a result, these shared amenities—particularly the Starbucks—become alternative workspaces for employees, activating and energizing the building.

Breathing New Light into Aging Infrastructure

The 909 Locust renovation required a complete functional overhaul. The project team upgraded the existing infrastructure, maximized space utility, and enhanced the aesthetic appeal. The renovation ensured that the building's 'good bones' were complemented with contemporary fittings and finishes. The transformation of these spaces wasn't just about looks; it was about redefining the building's character and utility. New energy-efficient lighting was specified as a building standard that reduced the lighting load by over 50%. This, in turn, reduced the cooling load for the building and reduced the overall energy use significantly. New, low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce the building’s water use as well. Since these costs are passed on to the tenants, this increase in efficiency was attractive to potential tenants.

This project breathes new life into a 25-year-old building with outdated finishes but good bones—which is a sustainable story worth telling.

The Power of Collaborative Effort

Team synergy was the cornerstone of this successful project, making it a vivid exemplar of architectural ingenuity aligned with corporate strategy. Through a series of meticulous renderings, budgets, and ongoing communication with the Board of Directors, the project team ensured the vision was faithfully executed. With seamless collaboration among the Owner, Project Manager, Contractor, and Furniture Vendor, the project was completed on schedule and under budget. The result is an office that not only meets FHLB's specific workspace goals but provides office space and amenities to others.

This was one of those rare projects where everything just clicked. The client was clear about their vision and they trusted others to get them there. The extended team functioned as an extension of the client and seamlessly worked together to achieve that vision. The results speak for themselves.

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - first floor

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture

Lobby looking to north entrance - before

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture

Lobby looking toward south entrance - before

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture

Meeting space corridor - before

909 Locust Street Office Building Core and Shell Renovation – Substance Architecture

South entry doors - before

Consultants

MEP Engineer
Baker Group
Structural Engineer
KPFF (formerly Saul Engineering)
Landscape Architect
Genus Landscape Architects
General Contractor
Graham Construction
Audio Visual
Morrisey Engineering, Inc.
Elevator Consultant
BOCA Group
Custom Millwork
RCS Millwork and ACGI

Photography by Paul Crosby Architectural Photography and Ford and Brown