Corinthian Gardens Smokers' Shelter, Des Moines, Iowa.
© Cameron Campbell Corinthian Gardens Smokers' Shelter, Des Moines, Iowa.

ASK Studio 

The rise of anti-smoking regulation has had a profound impact on outdoor space planning, with smokers no longer allowed to congregate beside public entries. Yet this project serves as a reminder that smokers aren’t extinct by quietly celebrating an activity that has gone from banal to banned.  “What I love about it is not only is it driven by a concept that's a cultural phenomenon,” juror Joel Sanders said. “It dares to take on something which is now culturally frowned upon.” Envisioned as a sculptural element in the landscape beside the apartment complex whose residents are the primary users, the Corinthian Gardens Smokers’ Shelter in Des Moines, Iowa, comprises simple—and nonflammable—materials in a 275-square-foot structure. Concrete benches are backed with perforated metal screens; LEDs, aligned with roofing corrugations and vertical metal supports, provide security lighting after dark. It’s the sort of structure that has the feel of a private clubhouse for the tobacco-initiated; juror Cary Bernstein said, “it makes you want to smoke so you can be in it.”

Click here to see all of the winners of the 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards.

Night view.
© Cameron Campbell Night view.
Daytime view.
© Cameron Campbell Daytime view.
Night view.
© Cameron Campbell Night view.
Detail view.
© Cameron Campbell Detail view.
Detail view, interior benches.
© Cameron Campbell Detail view, interior benches.


Site plan diagram.
Courtesy ASK Studio Site plan diagram.
Rendering and seen/unseen diagram.
Courtesy ASK Studio Rendering and seen/unseen diagram.

Project Credits

Project  Corinthian Gardens Smokers' Shelter, Des Moines, Iowa
Architect  ASK Studio, Des Moines, Iowa—Brent Schipper, AIA
GeneralContractor  Koester Construction—Jack Daugherty
Developer  Newbury Living—Sharon Wolfe
Photography  Cameron Campbell, AIA
ProjectSize  275 square feet
ConstructionCost  $160 per square foot

Materials and Sources

Exterior Siding  American Plastic Lumber; McNichols; Polygal
Flooring  Concrete
Hardware  Aztec; McNichols; Polygal
LightingFixtures  Bega (LED); Kim Lighting
Paints and Finishes  PPG Pittsburgh Paints
Roofing  Corrugated Metals; custom steel plate