The World Food Prize - Hall of Laureates

Des Moines, IA

Services provided on this project:

Architecture Overview:

Working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office, the design team retained and restored historically significant design elements while incorporating modern fire sprinkler, electrical, mechanical and data systems. Reading rooms and stack areas were developed into reception and meeting rooms to foster scientific discussion. Office spaces were provided for the Foundation staff. Museum exhibit spaces feature displays about the contributions of the laureates and the accomplishments of the Prize founder, Dr. Norman Borlaug. Elevators were introduced to provide accessibility throughout the building. Ceremonial gardens and landscaping were designed to enhance the learning experience while corresponding with concurrent re-developments along the river.

Engineering Overview:

A storm water collection system is installed to store rain water from the roof areas. The reclaimed water will be used in the flushing of plumbing fixtures and for irrigation of the gardens. The project includes a new electrical service and distribution system that incorporates over 20 kW of photovoltaic panels on the roof. Current lighting technologies have been incorporated into historically accurate lighting fixtures. The lighting is controlled by an advanced lighting control system to maximize efficiency and optimize lighting levels. Technology was integrated into the historic elements of the building to meet the requirements for the new equipment in the office, meeting room and exhibit areas.

Interior Design Overview:

With the consultation of the State Historic Preservation Office, our design team retained and restored key historic design elements both on the interior and exterior of the building. The former stacks room, now the Hall of Laureates, was transformed into a reception and meeting room to foster scientific discussions.  The Des Moines Public Library’s tenure in the building is recalled by the use of a subtle pattern in the wood flooring, designating the locations of the former library stacks. Elegant artwork, furnishings and carpet procured from around the world provide a stunning backdrop for receptions and displays, celebrating the contributions of the Laureates, the World Food Prize recipients. The Rotunda skylight, scagliola, plaster, tile, stone and glass floor were carefully restored and enhanced with artwork and lighting to celebrate Dr. Bourlag’s lifetime achievements, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

Lighting Design Overview:

Sustainability Overview:

The Hall of Laureates is an example of how existing buildings can be energy efficient while maintaining a National Register of Historic Places listing. Using funding sources from both of these avenues made this project a model for preserving the past while looking to the future for conservation of energy. The World Food Prize's core mission involves making the most of the world's limited natural resources to feed a growing global population, thus it was important to model sustainability in their new headquarters. The lower energy costs translate into additional programs helping to provide for food around the world.

  • CLIENT: The World Food Prize Foundation
  • COMPLETE: July 2011
  • SIZE:
    38,500 Sq. Ft. Renovation
    • AIA Iowa Chapter - Sustainable Design Merit Award - 2012
    • Preservation Iowa - Preservation at It's Best Award - 2012
    • MidAmerican Energy - Excellence in Energy Efficient Design - 2012
    • Center on Sustainable Communities - Environmental Impact Award - 2014
  • SUSTAINABLE: Certified LEED for New Construction v2.2 - Platinum
  • View Related Project Types: