Last week Lawmark Capital unveiled the exterior lighting project on the Financial Center.  Slingshot worked with KCL Engineering ( and Mike Lambert to elevate the visibility of the FC on the Des Moines Skyline. Over the next several months we will also renovate the lobby and front/rear entries.  We are excited as the FC building will become the office tower of choice for businesses.  Attached are photos from the Des Moines Register.FC night image FC image 2

Slingshot begins work on GDMP Offices

Last week the Greater Des Moines Partnership (GDMP) selected Lawmark and the 700 Locust (aka Partnership bldg) to be their new home after the Younkers fire forced them out last March. Slingshot is proud and excited to design their new home office.

Go to

Partnership Entry

David Voss Alter Ego

It is only because Dave posted this picture on his own FB page that I felt obliged to post it on our Blog.  I’m not sure what to say…dave

420 Court | DSM Urban Regionalism

iowa-see-the-filming-location-of-the-1989-classic-field-of-dreams-in-dubuque-county-iowa-you-can-bat-on-the-field-or-take-a-guided-tour-of-the-surrounding-farmThis blog post is the finale after Dan’s previous 7 sessions identifying and explaining our view on a place specific and regional response to 420 Court Avenue.  I felt it important to not only recap the early sessions, but also set a high bar for Slingshot’s and my expectations for design in downtown Des Moines.  Greg.


420 Court Avenue

Seven weeks ago Slingshot + Reynolds Urban Design were invited to join Hubbell Realty in preparing a design solution for a developer initiated 420 Court Avenue Concept Request.  The Request was searching for proven teams and design concepts – not a financial pro forma.  Monday, February 24th, this evening, the City Council will be voting on Staff’s recommendation to approve the Knapp|HyVee team proposal.  Before you read any further below, I want to be clear as a long time downtown Des Moines urban architect, I’m excited and proud to see a major grocery store in downtown Des Moines.  Although I have many (way too many for this blog) opinions on where is the best location and what type of grocery store is most appropriate, the fact is we are on the cusp of securing a proven local grocery store for downtown.  This is very exciting and I wish them the utmost success which will do nothing but benefit all of us in downtown and all of Des Moines.

Our design team of Dennis Reynolds, Dan Drendel, Kyle Schleicher, Josh Williams, Matt Heires and myself were proud and excited to dig into the design problem.  We thoroughly enjoyed the engagement with Steve and Kris at Hubbell as we crafted a solution that not only would meet and work in the Des Moines market, but also be a unique response to the “Place” of 420 Court in Des Moines Iowa.  Through our Pullback process we were able to clearly and succinctly identify what we believed to be the main drivers for creating a Regional, place specific, solution for 420 Court Avenue.  Each session not only explained our concept further, but it also explained the particular regional topic.  I encourage you to read them if you are interested in learning more.

CAS /// Session #1 : 100 to 200 Year Impact

CAS /// Session #2 : The Courthouse is King

CAS /// Session #3 : Historic Buildings are Design Assets

CAS /// Session #4 : Adding Vibrant Urban Spaces

CAS /// Session #5 : Architecture Ideas Rooted in Place

CAS /// Session #6 : Developing the Urban Fabric

CAS /// Session #7 : Markers in Urban Space


Des Moines Urban Regionalism

Now that we know the staff recommended team for Council tonight, it is time for staff to begin digging into the specifics of the solution for 420 Court.  We believe this is also time for Des Moines (leaders, staff, non-architects, everyone) to raise the expectation and “bar” for our city design projects.  Solutions in the Des Moines urban fabric should be thoughtfully studied, conceptualized, scaled and detailed for the specific urban space they encounter.  Des Moines is a great place with it’s own identity and the new pieces of the built environment should explore, reinforce and expand this identity.

Although I’m not originally from Des Moines or Iowa, I made the choice to come here and stay here for a reason.  There are actually several reasons.  The history of Des Moines is fascinating and powerful.  Past and current leadership has/is shaping a multifaceted, strong, vibrant community.  The people are amazing.  The vast choices of opportunities for such a “right sized” community is unparalleled.  Lastly – I and Slingshot have been blessed to part of the impact in Des Moines the past 10 years.  Thank you.

I passionately believe in Regional place specific design.  If I had my way (hah), all project designs in downtown from the $10 ones to the 100 millions dollar ones would need to prove and show how their solution is Des Moines is a regional, place specific solution.

Greg Wattier

“it’s just bigger than me now.”

Today we begin a new chapter in the life of our architectural firm. Over the past ten years, we have been very blessed to work on many amazing projects in Des Moines, around Iowa and in other locations. As we roll out some changes and clarity to who we are and how we desire to provide work, it is a good time to share with you a few key thoughts that have become clear and unmistakeable to me.

Although I’m not a native of Iowa, Des Moines has become my home due to the people I’ve been fortunate enough to know through work and outside of work. Thank you to all of you that have guided and pushed me to pursue my architectural dreams. Thank you to all of you who invited me to assist you with your architectural needs and provided us with several great opportunities.

I have an absolutely amazing family. Thank you mom for being an integral member of our team for several years. Your dedication and support was immeasurable. Thank you Tony and Riley for not only allowing me to pursue my passion, but your understanding when I too often chose poorly and put my work ahead of you two. Sandi, none of this would have been possible without your commitment, strength and strong love. Thank you. I hope all four of you can share in the success and pride of today because it would not have happened without you.

As for the firm itself, it’s clear “its just bigger than me now”. Our office studio is a group of amazing people that share similar life and work drivers with me. Our drivers are embedded in our Process and Purpose. Our Purpose is very simple. We need and expect Meaning in our work. If we rigorously Serve our Clients and provide processes and solutions that Make Sense, we will find and deliver Meaning. Our Process is threefold. We Pull Back so we can clearly identify a project, generate Momentum to define solutions and strive to make Impact.

Regarding our drivers, I must point out it has been difficult yet simple and very rewarding, to clearly identify them as a result of the dedicated work Justin, John and Adam at 8|7 Central did to “discover” our firm. They also created all our new, very personal, graphics and firm materials. Besides their never ending great work, we also now have three new friends and accomplices in the battle to do meaningful design.

David Voss, Dan Drendel, John Bloom and Sandi Wattier have pushed, pulled and joined forces with me over the last many years. They are awesome and I truly value working with them and their friendships. Their leadership, expertise, maturity and desire to build our firm while impacting Des Moines have made it easy for me to recognize our firm is no longer about a single person name or even a group of names. The firm name must change so it is aligned with our Process and Purpose.

ge WATTIER Architecture is now Slingshot Architecture.


name on the door (click link for video)