Project Description

The Pelds Design Services team collaborated with developer Scott Cutler to bring a new mixed-use building to historic Valley Junction in West Des Moines, Iowa located at 304 5th Street. This project, as any project in Valley Junction, required a delicate touch to respect the historic architecture of the neighborhood, but allow for modern design trends and imagery. The project underwent a great deal of scrutiny from the city and neighbors as it progressed through the site plan approval process. During that time, our team provided precedent studies of the historic neighborhood and made recommendations for the design of this project to reflect the details of the historic buildings. At the same time, the client was interested in using modern materials such as mass timber framing and natural slate tiles for the exterior skin.

The efforts of all involved resulted in a three story, mass timber framed building with commercial retail space on the first floor, and a mixture of residential and commercial office space on the second and third floors. The building is set on the site in a way to provide outdoor space along the south side of the building for use by shoppers or residents. The mass timber is evident throughout the building in the exposed glue laminated columns and beams on the first floor, the Mass Plywood Panel (MPP) floor planks exposed as ceilings in every space, and the use of MPP for the construction of the main stair. The exterior skin is a mixture of two different profiles of metal panel, a natural slate tile, and glass. Several minor details were incorporated, such as windowsill details, so that these modern materials give a nod to the historic surrounding.

The project is unique in a couple ways.  We believe it to be the first mass timber, residential structure in Iowa, and it was the first building in the State of Iowa that was awarded the US Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant For Environmentally Progressive Design.

The project broke ground in late 2021 and is expected to be complete in mid-2022.