Iowa Office

American Institute of Architects — Iowa Chapter
Des Moines, IA
Completion date
April 2020

RDG's 2020 update to its 2009 full renovation of this highly visible downtown space features upgrades that integrate seamlessly with the original design yet bring improvements to allow for privacy when needed, protection from glare, evolving aesthetics and branding, and upholding LEED Platinum Certification. 

The original project involved a 2,300-square-foot office remodel in a highly visible first-floor space in a downtown office building, featuring extensive daylighting and greater public visibility for the AIA Iowa, its programs and the architecture profession it serves. Since the AIA Iowa needed the space to function as a workspace and as a hub for meetings, social events and educational/promotional events, the design team created a flexible, translucent and spacious environment. These recent improvements transform a former utilitarian storage closet into a bright, pleasant area for private discussions and small meetings. Clerestory windows offer a visual connection to the rest of the office and keep it from feeling closed in. Design changes to the main conference room further enhance that space's acoustic performance - offering increased privacy and improving the organization's ability to host virtual meetings with acoustic clarity for all users.   Throughout the space, the organization's current branding is integrated along with updated finishes including floor coverings, paint, ceiling treatments and light fixtures to reflect a sleek, refreshed aesthetic that still upholds the office's LEED Platinum Certification. Additional improvements include adding UV film to exterior windows to reduce glare and protect interior finishes and upgrading to LED lighting. The LED fixtures and updated lighting controls use less energy for operation and offer a crisp, natural-looking light with less glare than traditional light sources. 

Lighting responds to daylight contribution in the private offices. Decorative fixtures were selected to directly related to artistic panels and furniture pattern design as well as reinforcing the society’s branding.
The open area of the office incorporates conferencing, meeting and exhibit functions – all tied together with an integrated lighting control system that can recall presets for specific events or entertaining.
A thin LED pendant utilizes a low glare optical film for light distribution and a volumetric design approach. Additional perimeter lighting highlights the red accent wall color and society logo.