The City of Des Moines operates its field services from several older and outdated facilities scattered around the city. These services include the Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation, plus other services such as Engineering, Fleet, Traffic and Transportation, Housing Services maintenance, satellite maintenance facilities, and other service uses. In order to develop interdepartmental teams and cooperation, and to realize all potential organizational efficiencies (cost savings estimated at nearly $2M/year and $3M one time), these services are being consolidated and centrally located into a single campus location.

Organizationally, the building contains essentially two components—administrative offices and operational facilities. The final solution adopted two strategies which formed the basis of the final layout. First, the lab and storage spaces were organized into ‘saddlebags’ flanking the large central vehicle storage bay. The represented an evolution in the layout of typical municipal facilities. Secondly, the administrative ‘bar’ was pulled away from the operational components and connected with two ‘bridges’. This allowed light to penetrate into the center of the facility where otherwise there would typically be no outside access. A glass enclosed courtyard has thus been created as an amenity for the occupants of the building.

Due to economy and durability, the exterior of the facility is primarily precast concrete with curtainwall infill. The precast panels have been pulled apart to articulate otherwise long, blank facades. The northwest facing office façade has been fully glazed and screened with a system of horizontal aluminum tubes and vertical fabric fins to mitigate direct sun (and glare) from entering the building throughout much of the annual solar cycle. Nearly all spaces have access to an exterior wall and operable windows for ventilation when conditions allow.