Principal Riverwalk Hub Spot, Des Moines, Iowa

This 2,200 square foot pavilion and plaza occupy a prominent site along the Des Moines River.

The program includes a public cafe space, public restrooms, and mechanical service spaces.

The triangular building was conceived as a crystalline space resting at the prow of a gently sloping, boat-shaped plaza formed by the adjacent trails, streets, promenades.

The public art requirement is met by a series of five 'dungos' created by ceramic artist Jun Kaneko. Architect Paul Mankins selected the pieces from Kaneko's stock that he felt were most appropriate for the space and positioned them in a way to occupy the plaza. "We chose neutral colors except one with a vermillion segment that pickups steel in pavilion and adjacent pedestrian bridge," he says.

This crystal is, in turn, shrouded by a folded black zinc skin. This skin is selectively unfolded to provide panoramic views out of the upper level cafe.

The building activates the public plaza and creates an understandable "place" according to Mankins.

The interior of the cafe is a glass dining space with a solid concrete "chimney" to the south and a wood and steel "kitchen" block to the west. The building employs a number of sustainable and energy conservation strategies including geothermal heating and cooling, daylight harvesting, and LED lighting, significantly reducing both operating and life-cycle costs.

Site adn floor plans

Jury: " For a small structure, it has a big personality."

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