350 E. Locust

Located in a historic district, this 5-story mixed-use project interweaves city life from street to skyline.

The 45,000-sf program comprises 20 residential units and a penthouse office over ground floor retail. Expansive storefronts open 6,000-sf of commercial shops to pedestrian view. Recessed tenant entries at the east and west provide experiential depth and overhead cover.

The building is carefully proportioned to blend with its historic context with a few playful deviations. Brick meets the district’s material requirement. Syncopated windows along the south façade reinterpret tradition before terminating to the west with an expected alignment.

For both economy and clarity, the material palette is simple: dark brick, clear glass, anodized aluminum, and weathering steel. Massing and materials articulate program elements. Storefront glazing lifts the brick residential mass from the street, which the circulation spine’s curtain wall then joins to steel egress towers. The glass of the penthouse office creates a glass beacon caps the ensemble.

The three residential unit types – efficiency, one bedroom, and two bedroom – share a similar parti. Each kitchen centers on the living space, parallels the exterior wall, and shares plumbing wall functions with a primary bathroom. Level 4 units include projecting glass and steel balconies. Level 4 also provides an outdoor common space for all tenants to mingle among westward views of the downtown skyline.

Project Type



Des Moines, Iowa


45,000 SF




2015 AIA Iowa Design Award