Des Moines Architecture Firm BNIM Recognized with Second National Design Award

Des Moines, Iowa (September 10, 2013) — BNIM announces that The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies have selected BNIM’s Des Moines Office to be included among sixty-five new buildings, commercial and institutional developments, and urban planning projects for The American Architecture Awards for 2013.

BNIM Des Moines was selected from hundreds of submissions for this year’s annual Awards Program from the best architecture firms from across the United States for projects designed and / or built in the U.S. or abroad since 2010.

 “The American Architecture Awards program,” states Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Museum President of The Chicago Athenaeum, “showcases the best of new American building design and urban design- oriented research by the nation’s foremost visionary designers.”

Founded 15 years ago, this program is a centerpiece of The Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of architectural development and to bring a global focus to light of the best new designs from the United States. It is the only national and global program of its kind.

The elite group of buildings and urban planning projects selected by the jury will be premiered at the 14th International Biennial of Architecture Buenos Aires from September 19 through October 15, 2013 at Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after which it is scheduled to travel in Europe, opening at The European Centre’s Contemporary Space Athens in Athens, Greece.

This is the second National Award for the BNIM Des Moines Office this year and the sixth design award overall. The project was also recognized with an AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture, which is the AIA’s highest design honor.

“This project was an opportunity for BNIM to embrace the City of Des Moines’ urban core as our home with an office that activates the street with an honest and simple design that engages those within and those who pass by,” said Rod Kruse FAIA, Design Principal. “We are extremely honored by this Award; it is a tribute to the strength of the Des Moines urban core.”   

Located within a former bank lobby on the southeast corner of an active street intersection, BNIM Des Moines engages the urban core and fosters collaboration. The space uses the minimal insertion of partial height elements to harvest daylight and define programmatic functions. The studio is organized around a central wall clad in a continuous rhythm of cork panels for critiques, spontaneous collaboration and display, which creates an edge to the studio environment and defines an open conference area and kitchen/library/workspace. The studio has brought life to the street level and helped foster a rejuvenation of the urban core.

About The Chicago Athenaeum
The Chicago Athenaeum ( is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide public education about the significance of architecture and design and how those disciplines can have a positive effect on the human environment.

About BNIM
BNIM is one of the most important architectural firms working to redefine practice in the realm of green architecture today and they are the recipients of the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award. As early pioneers in the arena of sustainable design, BNIM continues to shape the national and global agenda for responsible architecture and design excellence. Established in 1970, the firm has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, landscape, education and workplace design. In addition to Des Moines, Iowa, the firm has offices in Kansas City, Mo.; Houston, Texas; San Diego, Calif.; and Los Angeles, Calif. For more information, call Rod Kruse at 515-974-6462 or visit