Substance Architecture


substance Studio

Des Moines, Iowa

Our studio occupies the second floor of a loft building in Des Moines, Iowa. The original space was powerful—with steel trusses forming a grand, column-free space. The design maintains and enhances the space in two zones: an open studio space along the exterior and a linear service space along the opaque interior edge, separated by a wall of display shelving and storage cabinets.

Our collaborative philosophy informs nearly every detail. Workstations at 36 inches (rather than the typical 29 inches) encourage discourse between staff. Work pods are organized around teaming tables. Finally, the entire studio is open—allowing us to share our collective knowledge. The casework was conceived as a ribbon of Baltic birch plywood folded and wrapped around a team table of folded steel plate table. These "origami" objects weave the studio and service zones together. This composition was then repeated, creating a cadence corresponding to the structural order.


Honor Award, 2007
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter

Excellence in Sustainable Design, 2008
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter

Design Excellence Award / Best in Show, 2006
33rd Annual Interior Design Awards / International Interior Design Association

Excellence in Craft (with RCS Millwork), 2006
American Institute of Architects - Iowa Chapter


Architect, November 2017
Architect, September 2016
Architect, September 2015
Architecture Minnesota, March 2010
Iowa Architect, 08:266
Iowa Architect, 07:262
dsm, August/September/October 2007
Real Estate & Construction Review, 2007
Perspective, Winter 2007
Interior Design, May 2006
dsm, February/April 2006
Iowa Architect, 06:257
Core, Issue 1, Volume 1, 2006

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