Substance Architecture


Dorsey & Whitney

Des Moines, Iowa

When a long-serving dinner club vacated the top floors of this Midwest high-rise building, it provided this established law firm the chance to refresh in a new, progressive office space with full perimeter access to one of the highest views in the region. The new 15,000 square foot space is organized on two floors around breathtaking views and an eclectic collection of significant regional artwork.

A shallow core to skin floor plate and dense building core required focusing all office and public spaces to the perimeter providing full access to daylight and views for all staff and visitors. Necessary support spaces were inserted into vacant core space. Interruption of the perimeter offices is limited to a single location on each floor: the Reception/Conference Space on the top floor and the Board Room on the lower. Progression between these spaces was provided via bisecting Douglas Fir and granite public circulation corridors that terminate by either arriving at these locations or by a piece of art work. The wood paneled art walls terminating these corridors double as a screen to the shared work areas located at each quadrant of the building, each distinguished by a unique wall color for identification.

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