Substance Architecture

Faegre Baker Daniels

Des Moines, Iowa

To accommodate their growing practice, the Des Moines office of Faegre Baker Daniels chose to expand their office space and relocate to higher floors within the same downtown high-rise they have occupied since 2004. The new space provides a unique and creative identity for the Faegre office, combining public and private workspace. From the perimeter to the inner core, it offers expansive views of the surrounding area, fills the public spaces with daylight, and showcases their collection of notable artwork.

The office’s 27,500 square feet are organized on two levels connected by an internal stair. The lower level serves as the public interface for the firm. Small meeting rooms and larger conference rooms with video conferencing capabilities wrap the public circulation and reception areas.

The upper level is dedicated to attorney and staff offices, administration, and service spaces. The level is organized into three primary layers; the perimeter, circulation and core. The first layer is a band of private offices that wrap the building’s edge. The existing office layout and spacing was kept intact from the previous tenant. Only the solid wall separating these offices from the interior of the floor was removed and replaced with translucent glass wall with deep wood mullions. This wood and glass wall system brings daylight into the space and creates an aesthetic rhythm that extends through floor and ceiling patterns into the second layer. This second zone provides the circulation path throughout the floor. It is punctuated with works of art from the firm’s collection and widens into bright areas of open office. Contrasting the wood and glass wall system is a ribbon of drywall that wraps the floors inner core. The ribbon veils a collection of offices and service spaces and adds a visual richness to moving through the space.

Photography by Paul Crosby Architectural Photography


Merit Award - Excellence in Design (Detail) with Peter Goche, 2017
American Institute of Architects - Central States Region

Merit Award - Excellence in Design, 2016
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter


Iowa Architect, Winter 2017
Iowa Architect, Spring 2014

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