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Veterans Memorial Convention Center: A Case Study

Posted on Nov 29, 2016, by Mollie Williams

When a venue is a source and representation of community pride, only the highest quality of skilled craftsmanship and teamwork should be applied when renovating the space.

This story highlights how world-renowned architecture and design firm, tvsdesign, joined forces with Milliken to renovate the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa. Built in 1954, the facility—part of the Iowa Events Center—has been home to the Who’s Who of entertainment and is a landmark within the community.

Floor covering served as an important role in achieving the overall goal of the design—and created a flexible space that could accommodate various events, including trade shows, corporate meetings and sporting events. Patterning, functionality, durability and ease of maintenance were key points of focus for flooring. 

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Milliken offers an online tool for its étage collections, which allows designers to create one-of-a-kind custom flooring by layering unique patterns, motifs and colors. The tvsdesign team used this resource when developing the desired aesthetic for the space that included:

  • Nature-inspired accents
  • Wildflower motifs
  • A contemporary interpretation of scenic Iowa

Additionally, by using a range of pattern and scale, the flexible floor plan offered a variety of options that allows for subtle transitions from room to room, in all directions.

“Creating multi-scaled patterns that seamlessly transitioned from one space to another while merging in every direction was certainly a challenge. Milliken’s multiple software platforms ensured that we met specific goals while examining the design concept in a precise approach,” Kristin Gruenefeld, senior designer for Milliken floor covering, shared when commenting on the design work. 

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The Product - The final design was printed on Milliken Grand Plaza 40 ounce modular carpet tile. Uniquely, Milliken individually dyes each carpet tile. This helps to produce a tight pattern match and the ability to work on patterns in segments ensuring for accurate blending. The resulting puzzle-like pieces allowed the designers to seamlessly merge multiple patterns throughout the space.

Ease of Installation - Working with an aggressively booked schedule, timing and efficiency of the installation were crucial for project success. Milliken’s “InCode” technology made installing the elaborately designed flooring simple and:

  • Allowed designers to combine the functionality of tile with the beauty and detail of broadloom through its one-of-a-kind install by number coding process.
  • Featured an invisible code seen only through a hand-held UV light. Thus, using a detailed diagram, installers could correctly place tiles while designers had the freedom to create extremely detailed patterns without forsaking the functionality necessary for hospitality settings.
  • Provided a unique code that was printed on each carpet tile during manufacturing.

“At first, we hesitated to use modular carpet because we were unsure how to manage such a large amount of different tiles," shared Bill Shaw, director of operations at Global Spectrum. With Milliken’s InCode technology, we were able to order and organize stock—and will be able to efficiently and easily replace carpet tiles now and in the future.” 

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Updating the Veterans Memorial Auditorium was a community-wide effort. From the designers to manufacturers and from the installers to the end user, no detail was left unturned. The end result is a facility that exceeded the expectations of everyone involved – and most importantly, the customer.

“Our goal is to provide the highest quality of floor covering – in design, aesthetic and functionality," continued Kristin. "Our projects are only successful when we have a beautiful product that looks fantastic on the floor and meets the needs of our extended team, including the end user.”

Bill's sentiment was the same: “I’ve never been part of a project that fostered as much teamwork and involvement as this. It was amazing to witness how everyone came together to renovate a building that means so much to our community.”

To discover more stories of Milliken floor covering design and performance, visit our Project Profiles

Topics: Design

Mollie Williams

Written by Mollie Williams