CAS 420 /// Session #7 : Markers in Urban Space

The corner of 5th an Court is an exciting opportunity in Des Moines urban space.  At the same time, it should serve as a gathering place, an urban marker, identify the entry to the district + be deferential to Courthouse.

All of these goals for the articulation of the corner of a building can be tough to integrate into one urban space + one architectural idea.  All design tells a story + speaks to the people that interact with it.  We must always set our goals for design with intention, purpose + authenticity.

420 Corner


Our new public Pocket Plaza space 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 in the area will easily perceive this as the entry + identity to the west end of the Court Avenue District.



CAS 420 is an opportunity to step into the SSA ‘war room’ where urban diagrams, placemaking ideas + urban living drove the design for our submission to the City of Des Moines for the project located at 420 Court Avenue.  Hubbell Realty Company, Slingshot Architecture + Reynolds Urban Design teamed up to propose a thoughtful solution derived from a regionalist connection.  Please comment + share with your friends.

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