Safe Building Compliance & Technology
Civic & Public Projects
Project Floor Plan & Summary
300 4th Street
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Completion / April 2018
Project Cost / $1,200,000
SQFT / 10,000
Project Type / New Construction
Building Type / Office & Commercial
Landmark Construction Services
Building Envelope Before Renovation
In 2013 Studio Melee was commissioned for the adaptive reuse of an abandoned commercial building in the small community of Slater Iowa into an office for Safe Building Compliance and Technology. The not-for-profit organization’s mission is to preserve the health, safety and welfare of local communities through plan review and inspection of building improvement projects across the state of Iowa. The office was designed to serve as an example for best practices in adaptive reuse and the upstairs ballroom space was converted into the business owner’s own private residence.
The 6000sf all clay-brick and clay-block masonry building, built in 1900, historically served as an auto-dealer and repair shop with a large ballroom space on the second level. The building had a concrete block garage added to the north end in the 1950’s, and had fallen into disrepair after being abandoned for nearly 15 years. Based on historic photos, the exterior was carefully restored to closely match the original openings with new energy efficient windows, storefront and overhead doors. The exterior masonry was carefully cleaned, repaired, and tuck-pointed. The parapet, which had almost disappeared from years of weathering, was rebuilt and repaired with new cap flashings, roofing and insulation. Inside, the building structure was carefully cleaned, repaired and reinforced as necessary. The main level floor structure and upper roof structure featured unique steel and wood composite inverted king-post trusses which provided large open spans. These structural elements were exposed and highlighted. The existing plaster was removed and existing clay-block masonry was left exposed and tuck-pointed throughout. A sprinkler system was added throughout the building along with new electrical, plumbing and high-efficiency mechanical systems.
Completed in 2014, the fully-renovated building includes an efficient and light-filled open office space and future tenant space fronting Main Street with overhead doors in each space. Upstairs, the 3BR, 2-1/2 Bath residence is creatively configured to maximize usable space and capture daylight from the large windows on the building’s West and South sides. A children’s play loft was added above the home’s central core to take full advantage of the second-floor volume, and the restored brick and clay block gives the space an incredible warmth and rich historic character.