In Des Moines, you can find the buildings of such prominent contemporary architects as Helmut Jan and J.M. Drink. Now they will be complemented by the construction of the prominent British minimalist David Chipperfield.
The two-storey building is located in the middle of the new city park, so the idea behind it is to merge the inner and outer space. In plan the building resembles an airplane with its far-reaching "prominences". Pedestrians can walk right through the library lobby on their way to downtown, serving as a link between the park's recreational area and the Des Moines business district. Outside, the walls are covered with copper mesh sandwiched between two layers of glass. At night, thanks to the backlight, they will look almost transparent. There is a small garden on the roof, the plants of which will help the building save energy and will give it a unity with the surrounding park when viewed from above, from the windows of neighboring high-rise buildings.
In the northern part of the building there is a “drive-in” window: it is possible to hand over and receive books for a subscription without leaving the car.
The internal space is oriented outward: the walls, when viewed from the inside, are transparent, and the shelves with books are located perpendicular to them so as not to obstruct the views of the city and the park. Reading areas are arranged along the perimeter of the building. The interior uses bright colors (bright blue, bright green, yellow-orange), which contrast with the unpainted concrete of the ceilings and supports.
On the ground floor, there are cafes and auditoriums for various events, highlighting the library's role as a community center in the city.