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.