BNIM Renovation Project for AEG Receives National Critical Acclaim

Kansas City, Mo. – January 15, 2016 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has recognized BNIM’s project for the American Enterprise Group (AEG) as a 2016 recipient of an AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture, the profession’s highest recognition of works that represent excellence in architecture. The American Enterprise Group National Headquarters Renovation was among 11 projects selected to receive awards for Architecture out of roughly 350 entries. Winners will be recognized at the Annual Honors & Awards Celebration at the 2016 AIA National Convention on May 19-21 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Project Description
The American Enterprise Group (AEG) corporate headquarters is an eight-story office building in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The venerable building, designed by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft, was completed in 1965 and received an AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture in 1967. In 1966, it was featured in LIFE magazine and deemed “the talk of the Midwest.”

This is an invisible rehabilitation. The building’s original systems were meticulously integrated with the building architecture. Therefore, the rehabilitation required substantial demolition of walls and finishes, which were then obsessively and elegantly reconstructed to accommodate new systems, including the important addition of life-safety.

The original building meshed together workplace and AEG’s significant art collection -- a museum within an office. The renovated space addresses human efficiency and evolving workplace standards with both systems and a minimal, modern office design that enhances human productivity while making the art an integrated part of the experience.

In response to the recognition, BNIM Principal Rod Kruse, FAIA said, "The restoration of this building has been a great responsibility, challenge and opportunity for BNIM. This building is a significant example of mid-century modern architecture that has been a destination site of architects for decades. We honor the commitment by AEG to meticulously care for, maintain and elevate this respected masterpiece so it can continue to stand as an example of architectural integrity.”

For project images, jury comments and additional credit information, see the AIA website.

The jury for the 2016 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture included: Josiah Stevenson, FAIA (Chair), Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects; José Alvarez, AIA, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple; Brad Cloepfil, AIA, Allied Works Architecture, Inc.; Roberto de Leon, AIA, De Leon & Primer Architecture Workshop; Julie Eizenberg, FAIA, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.; Julie Engh, Assoc. AIA, Highland Associates; Elizabeth Hallas, AIA, Anderson Hallas Architects, P.C.; Danielle Jones, AIAS Representative; Christian Zimmerman, FASLA, Prospect Park Alliance.

About BNIM
BNIM is one of the most important design firms working to redefine practice and building performance in architecture today. As early pioneers of sustainability in the building industry, BNIM continues to shape the national and global design conversation on design excellence and delivering transformational results for clients. The firm received the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award for their work. Established in 1970, the firm has emerged as a leading resource for out-of-the-box methodologies, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research in the fields of architecture, planning, landscape, education and workplace design. The firm has offices in Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and Des Moines, Iowa; and is incubating offices in Washington, DC; Houston, Texas; and Madison, Wis. For more information visit