The Principal Riverwalk Pavilion and Pump House in Des Moines, IA
Wins Honors from Metal Construction Association

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- October 14, 2015 – The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded The Principal Riverwalk Pavilion and Pump House in Des Moines, IA its 2015 Chairman’s Award in the Municipal Projects category.

When the Riverwalk Pavilion was initially being designed, there was no plan for the Pump Station. As a result, the Pavilion was seen as a stand-alone piece. However, when the decision was made to construct the Pump Station in response to the major 2008 Iowa Flood, Substance Architecture decided to have the two buildings relate to one another to frame a public plaza.

The Pavilion is quite energy efficient and utilizes daylight harvesting, LED lighting, and ground source (geothermal) heating and cooling. The Pump Station is utilized only during flood events. The Pavilion was designed using zinc and glass to create an open, light structure. Substance Architecture sought a dark, yet lightweight material that would reinforce the idea of being folded. Zinc was a natural choice because it brought durability and an appealing, "crafted" appearance.

The two buildings are formally related and work together to create a civic space. The Material chosen was a VMZ Standing seam panel in ANTHRA-ZINC Plus measuring 0.8mm thick. Umicore Building Products is the MCA Member manufacturer for the project.

The Pavilion is open and transparent, as the zinc skin unfolds to provide breathtaking views both in and out of the interior. The Pump Station exterior is opaque, with a similar zinc skin that remains closed around flood control equipment. Also, the VMZ Standing seam panels become louvers on the west façade, which allows for picturesque views upriver while also blocking the harsh western sun.

“You couldn’t do this in brick, you couldn’t really do it in concrete. The ability to get the fins, the transparent elements in the building so you could see through it is a really great use of the metal there. What’s nice about this too is the combination of all the materials in here. It’s one of the metal projects that really fits in with the entire palette that they used on the project,” said Elaine Fitzgerald, AIA, CCS, one of the MCA judges for the award.

The award was announced at METALCON, the metal construction industry’s annual tradeshow and conference held at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida October 14-16. The Chairman’s Awards are given to the year’s most exceptional building projects involving MCA member companies based on overall appearance, significance of metal in the project, innovative use of metal, and the role of metal in achieving project objectives.

Recipients for these awards are selected each year from projects submitted by MCA members to Metal Architecture Magazine’s annual Design Awards Program. The honorees were chosen by a panel of professional architects, which included Elaine Fitzgerald, AIA, CCS, ArchiTech Consulting, Inc., Mount Prospect, IL; Michael G. Fitzgerald, AIA, Principal, OKW Architects, Chicago, IL; and Ted Haug, AIA, LEED AP, Legat Architects, Chicago, IL. 

The MCA Chairman’s Awards were given in eight categories: commercial/industrial; education, colleges and universities; education, primary and secondary schools; institutional; metal roofing; municipal; and residential. The judges also recognized a project with an award for overall excellence.

METALCON is the only event dedicated to metal construction products, technologies and solutions.

Project Recognition

MCA member manufacturer: Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Architect: Substance Architecture

Pavilion Contractor: Covenant Construction Services

Pump Station Contractor: Larson and Larson Construction

Pavilion Metal Installer: Midwest Glazing

Pump Station Metal Installer: Architectural Wall Systems Co.

About the Metal Construction Association

The Metal Construction Association brings together a diverse industry for the purpose of expanding the use of metal in construction through marketing, research, technology and education. Companies involved in MCA gain tremendous benefit from association activities that focus on research, codes and standards, market development, and technical programs. MCA’s market development efforts increase the use of metal materials in construction through the education of the building and design communities about the benefits of metal.

###