BBS Architects Engineers

AIA Iowa Excellence in Design Award

December 21, 2022

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Earlier this year, BBS was awarded the AIA Iowa Excellence In Design Award for our work on the Catholic Pastoral Center in Des Moines. This award is given “to recognize excellence in architecture projects which are designed by members of AIA Iowa and emphasize the importance of architecture in the community.” The jurors commended the skillful restoration, adaptive reuse, and thoughtful renovation of the famed building. 

Designed in the International Style by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1962, this building is considered to be one of the most important Mid-Century additions to Downtown Des Moines. It was the home of the Home Federal Savings & Loan bank until the early 1990s when it was threatened with demolition. This provoked an intense campaign from the architectural community all around the country, and led to the city giving it Local Landmark status, protecting it from any immediate danger. A group of “angel investors” then bought and deeded the property to the Catholic Diocese, who then hired us to restore the space. The new owner’s primary goal was to “provide a working environment for current and future needs for the next 50 years,” which the design team managed to achieve while also respecting Mies’ original design. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and also recently received the 2019 Docomomo US Commercial Design Award of Excellence.

For More Information, Visit our Catholic Pastoral Center project page.

Historic Rehabilitation Design & Construction Team:

Architect & Engineer of Record: BBS Architects | Engineers

Historic Preservation Architect: Harboe Architects PC

Landscape Architect: Genus Landscape Architecture

Architectural Historian: Jennifer James Communications LC

Historic Preservation Consultant: Stephen J. Stimmel

Construction Manager: Neumann Brothers, Inc.

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