Transformative elements offer DMU a new space for community events

By Heidi Willis and Jason DeVries

November 16, 2019
In an effort to create a place for students, faculty, staff, and the community to gather, Des Moines University (DMU) requested the assistance of INVISION to revive the Olsen Center by updating finishes, technology options and acoustics.

With the findings of an acoustic analysis, INVISION determined the need for acoustic wall panels to be added as well as the need to replace the acoustic ceiling tile. By adding new moveable sound partitions, they were able to both diffuse the sounds as well as create the opportunity to divide the space into four separate areas – all with individual technology capabilities.

The stage area also needed an overhaul. It was desired to make the stage area more prominent as it was currently set at a lower height and not very noticeable. With the upgrades, the stage area received color changing LEDs, insulated flooring (to help diffuse walking sounds), and carpet. It was also raised in height making it a more visual center point in the space.

While DMU design standards were carried through the design, it was done in a tasteful and minimal manner, so the space remained neutral for the opportunity to rent the space to the community. However, the design did include a custom-designed carpet made to offer that touch of DMU purple.