Substance Architecture


Drake University Opperman Center

Des Moines, Iowa

This house was the original Drake University President’s Residence, constructed in 1904, adjacent to the main campus of Drake University. Between the mid-1960s and 2000 the structure was used for offices of a variety of student organizations. During this time, many of the original finishes were covered over, removed or compromised, and the open spaces of the simple plan were subdivided and their character was lost.

This project renovated the building as the home of the American Judicature Society. The temporary partitions were all removed, and the spaces of the main floor were recentered. These spaces now focus on the grand fireplace, with new wood and beveled glass partitions opening into the reception and meeting rooms. This division of the public space allows for simultaneous meetings to occur while maintaining the openness of these grand spaces.

With the completion of the project, the American  Judicature Society has gained elegant new office space and Drake University has reclaimed its original President’s Residence.

Paul Mankins FAIA LEED® AP was the Principal-in-Charge while working for the firm of record, Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck.

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