420 Court Ave

The Courthouse is King

The masonry buildings of Court Avenue establish a scale + character that defines the street. Each building facade on Court Avenue is subtle + unique while completely deferring prominence to the courthouse. The hierarchy of Court Avenue as an urban space is defined by the axial termination at the courthouse. Every farmer’s market image is identifiable to Des Moines when the courthouse is in the frame.

Ideas Rooted in Place

The quarter block masonry massing on Court is the proper submissive gesture to the historic Courthouse with the remaining portions of the north buildings quietly filling their quarter blocks. It is important historically + functionally to split the north buildings with a “breath” creating connectivity between the Public Private Court + Court Avenue.

Markers in Urban Space

Our new public Pocket Plaza at the SE corner of 5th and Court will be an integral part of the way-finding network downtown with the completion of our Beacon. The Beacon will be a vertical, internally-lit, passive cooling tower cloaked in art. The tower will serve as a prominent urban marker seen on 5th from the north and south. Pedestrians walking walking in the area will easily perceive this as an entry + identity to the west end of the Court Avenue District.