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Client Name
Des Moines Public Library
Client Type
Project Type
Services Provided
  • Construction Administration
  • Structural Design
  • Special Inspection
Project Manager

The Des Moines Central Public Library is a one-of-a-kind structure in the Metro area. It has a distinct angular shape and coloration due to a unique glazing system that incorporates a copper mesh screen sandwiched between panes of glass. This controls light intensity, energy costs, and provides a warm copper glow in the evening.

Inside, the building boasts a well-coordinated floor plan with great attention to detail and function, creating a space that is user-friendly. Distinct elements that make the library an outstanding facility include:

  • Convenient onsite parking in an underground garage.
  • Impressive structural two-way flat slab floor system, which doesn’t require beams for support.
  • Striking exposed structural elements (stair framing, concrete columns, slab planes).
  • Efficient raised floor system allowing mechanical and electrical equipment to be hidden, yet readily accessible for easy connection, maintenance, and future upgrades.
  • The first green roof in Iowa featuring grasses, native plants, and flowers, which helps retain rainwater and minimize runoff.
  • Cutting edge information technologies integrated throughout the facility.
  • Park-like setting, with a special blend of trees and plantings.

The project design team includes architects and engineers from Europe and Des Moines, giving the library an international flair. Shuck-Britson provided structural design, construction review, and special inspection services for this project.