Principal Riverwalk Pavilion / Substance Architecture

Principal Riverwalk Pavilion / Substance Architecture
© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby

© Paul Crosby © Paul Crosby © Paul Crosby © Paul Crosby + 30

Des Moines, United States
  • Contractor: Covenant Construction Services
  • Consultants: KJWW Engineering, Charles Saul Engineering, Stanley Consultants, Wallace Roberts & Todd LLC
  • Owner: City of Des Moines
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© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby

This 2,200 square foot pavilion and plaza occupy a prominent site along the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The building is a key part of the new Principal Riverwalk – a $50 million public/private partnership which will revitalize the riverfront and draw Des Moines’ residents back to the river. The building sits adjacent to a new recreational trail, street level promenade and riverfront promenade anchoring the west end of the historic Court Avenue Bridge.

Floor Plans
Floor Plans

Diagram Section Elevation 1 Elevation 2 + 30

The triangular building was conceived as a crystalline space resting at the prow of a gently sloping, boat-shaped plaza formed by the adjacent trails, streets and promenades. This crystal is, in turn, shrouded by a folded black zinc skin. This skin is selectively unfolded to provide panoramic views out of the upper level café. The resulting roof overhangs provide solar protection to the buildings east and south façades. The west façade is “louvered” to allow for views upriver to the north while blocking the harsh, western sun.

© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby

The interior of the café is a single, glass dining space with a solid concrete “chimney” to the south and a wood and steel “kitchen” block to the west. The placement of these two elements allows the east, riverfront façade to be completely unobstructed while framing views to the southern plaza. This crystalline café appears to hover above a set of service spaces excavated out of the plaza. These lower level spaces include public restrooms and a central hand-wash fountain, as well as electrical and mechanical spaces. The building activates the public plaza and creates an understandable “place”. The architect worked with the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation and internationally recognized artist, Jun Kaneko, to locate site specific artwork to further energize this space.

Axonometric
Axonometric
© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby

This series of large-scale ceramic works, called Dangos, have become iconic. The building employs a number of sustainable and energy conservation strategies including geothermal heating and cooling, daylight harvesting, and LED lighting, significantly reducing both operating and life-cycle costs. The result is a destination that successfully draws the citizens of Des Moines back to the river.

© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby
© Paul Crosby

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Project location

Address: Meredith Trail, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Principal Riverwalk Pavilion / Substance Architecture" 04 May 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/501155/principal-riverwalk-hub-spot-substance-architecture/> ISSN 0719-8884
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