Miesblock Commercial is an 18,000 square-foot facility on Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines that includes a retail / restaurant area on the first floor and two additional floors of office space. The Miesblock name and design is reminiscent of the work of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who designed the adjacent Catholic Pastoral Center.
The exterior facade of the Miesblock Commercial building features architectural precast concrete insulated wall panels accented with inset black aluminum panels. The south end of the building features a decorative perforated aluminum scrim attached to the exterior that set outboard of the panels.
Precast concrete was chosen based on the its ability to provide a contrast to the metal panels and provide an insulated finished wall that would not require furring out the interior. Precast concrete was also able to accommodate the developer’s need for an accelerated schedule that could be challenged by the need to minimally impact a very tight downtown construction site.