Columbus Park Shelter

Location
Des Moines, Iowa
Year
2019
Size
1,400 SF

Client
City of Des Moines, Iowa

Project Team
Tim Hickman
Charvi Jagani
Paolo Orlando

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture
Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Columbus Park Shelter

Columbus Park has been a beloved community space on Des Moines’ southside for generations. The original shelter, built in 1936, contained a restroom, changing rooms, recreation room, and office for an adjacent wading pool which had since been removed. To meet the needs of the modern-day user, an enclosed and heated shelter that visually tied to the neighborhood’s history and character was desired.

The solution was to enclose this modest but architecturally significant structure and transform the function while honoring its history and legacy. The renovation allowed the strengths of the existing structure—simplicity, symmetry, and high-quality materials to shine through.

The original brick was restored, historically compatible windows were added to the original openings, and its original roof shape was preserved. All interior spaces were reconfigured and the insulation and weatherproofing were replaced, subtly modernizing the space while emphasizing its historical elements. The project transformed the shelter into a four-season, rentable community space for up to 60 people while preserving its original character and pleasing the neighbors. 

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Columbus Park Shelter - before

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Columbus Park Shelter - before

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Columbus Park Shelter - before

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Columbus Park Shelter - before

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

1936 Des Moines Register Article 

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - after

Columbus Park Shelter – Substance Architecture

Construction progress

Consultants

MEPT Engineer
KCL Engineering
Structural Engineer
KPFF
Civil Engineer
Bolton & Menk
General Contractor
Edge Companies, LLC

Photography by Corey Gaffer