The East 2nd Street Parking Facility represents the first phase of a pedestrian-minded redevelopment block in Des Moines’ East Village.

With its efficient footprint tucked into the block’s core, the parking structure cedes street frontages to retail, offices, and housing. Mixed-use buildings to flank it to the north and south. To the west, directly across from City Hall, open green space anticipates a future civic building. The parking facility’s post-tensioned concrete structure accommodates 540 parking spaces on six levels, capped by a 336-panel solar array calculated to garner the project a net-zero energy rating. The array can accommodate an additional 336 panels to offset the proposed civic building’s energy load. Floor to floor shingled glass panels, installed with adjustable swivel fittings, enclose the east and west facades. The panels’ orientation differs on each façade to lend protection from prevailing winds and encourage natural ventilation. Transparency varies from floor to floor, with opacity increasing toward the top to shield adjacent buildings from headlight glare. The glazing’s visual modulation complements the system’s site-specific passive ventilation to provide a performative, three-dimensional scrim between the parking facility and the city.

In addition to eliminating the need for stair tower mechanical ventilation, the glass also provides visibility for secure pedestrian circulation. Walkways and stairs cantilever out from the vehicular areas to create a dedicated pedestrian zone. Stairwells spill into a brick-paved pedestrian plaza on the west and a city sidewalk on the east. The plaza complies with fire department access requirements while enhancing the greenspace and framing the facility’s relationship to City Hall. At full build-out, the now spacious pedestrian plaza will mature into an intimate pocket park for the burgeoning local streetscape.