Des Moines Area Community College wanted this facility to function as a super-computer for education. The functional spaces were designed and organized to resemble a computer data board in a central processing unit. An elliptically shaped social mixer at the core of the building, which includes a reception area, coffee bar, auditorium and lounge, is a gathering place COST PER SQ FT$177.00CITATIONPost-Secondary CitationFEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio students and faculty to relax and learn what’s happening at the college.
The ellipse is flanked by two expandable wings, or “processors,” filled with various teaching components including flexible labs, telecommunications lab, networking computer lab, classrooms, offices, team rooms and efficient mechanical support rooms. Raised computer access flooring provides flexibility to integrate the technology of tomorrow; while the use of strategically placed glass provides acoustical separation and visual connection.
The placement of the structure obliquely in relation to the street both animates the design and allows computer-intensive sessions to be protected from the sun. The passive solar design solution is supported by a pond water-sourced geothermal mechanical system.
"Building plan and character clearly reflect the program and aspirations of the college."--Jury 2002