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Dilley Building
Des Moines, IA

Within the two-stories of the Dilley Building, 35,500 sq. ft. of an old paper manufacturing warehouse were renovated to accommodate commercial office fit-outs for two companies as well as future restaurant and retail tenant expansion. The design perfectly balances the contrast of existing material and clean modern insertions to celebrate the architectural components of this 80 year-old timber and brick structure.

Initial concept to completion
< 1 year
Christensen Development and Beal Derkenne Construction
Laura Peterson

A reinterpretation of interior architecture for modern design.

The building owners were developers and contractors themselves, so the team knew each other well. I enjoyed working for a client with such interest in celebrating the history of the building and using it as a design feature. The modern elements that we added to the building to support collaboration and productivity workspaces created a great blend of modern office practices. The owner’s interest in both innovative hospitality design features and preserving the integrity of the existing building materials in a clean, modern way was a rare combination that created unique opportunities for the design team.

Our commitment to use natural materials and simple execution of design solutions was important to this project concept and time line. Steel panels from the original manufacturing floor were naturally weathered and dispersed across the project canvas as a unifying precept of the interior and exterior design. Heavy timbers became stair treads and repurposed barn boards created wayfinding. Marble wainscot from the existing entrance was reused in the reception desk. Sliding metal doors were cleaned and rediscovered and used as originally intended. The remains of an existing elevator shaft were lit for an artistic centerpiece for both levels. Glass and a modern palette were used in new insertions in the space.

Other team members: Mark Nevenhoven

This project was unique in that the contractor, with whom we had an existing relationship, was also the owner. We functioned as a joint design and construction team and the collaboration led to additional input on elements within the space, such as the custom-designed conference table.
- Laura Peterson Architect
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