ESO is a technology company that provides data collection services to fire departments across the United States. Openness, incorporation of their industry, and historical preservation were important design elements for this project. The goal was to integrate technology with historic printing press elements, all while projecting a strong image of the firefighters and EMT departments that this company was built to support.
Their Des Moines office includes a feature wall with a fire truck purchased at an auction that pays homage to the work ESO does. The front of the engine is a display element, while other parts of the truck are incorporated to create storage space and a bar area in the break area. The display is prominently featured atop of a large open social stair that doubles as an office meeting space and reinforces the open and collaborative nature of the office.
The first floor is at street level and a new mezzanine level was created to make a connection to the main corner of Eighth and Locust streets downtown. The mezzanine wraps around the east wall providing enough room for future expansion to accommodate the company’s five-year growth plan.
It was critical to keep the three-floor volume as open as possible to allow views and natural light to all areas of the building. This building was originally the printing press for the Des Moines Register and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The design highlights the existing architecture. The lighting system leverages the existing truss used to moving paper through the press; in-floor cut outs on the lower level revealing original rail tracks were maintained and became way finding tools, linked by red tracks in the space.