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Bell Haus

Converting a former office HQ into a vertical community


For nearly 20 years, Clockwork has been creating solutions where others only saw problems.  After numerous developers, historic consultants and multifamily design firms attempted to solve the riddle of this 1970’s office building and failed, a solution is now emerging.

Clockwork’s expertise in renovation and reuse of abandoned buildings combined with our design knowledge of over 6,000 multifamily units was the perfect match to rejuvenate this asset.

When we're repurposing old buildings, it's like finding the perfect mix of honoring their history while making sure they meet the needs of today's occupants.  Every project brings its own story, where we strike the right balance between keeping the original charm and adding in fresh elements. It's like a conversation between the old and the new, and we're here to make sure it's not a boring one.

We began with a study of the existing conditions and documents.  A trip down memory lane we discovered the building was Drawn by Richard Coleman, Checked by Mike Shaughnessy and Sealed by Ralph Myers and now brought back to life by Clockwork.  Teaching old buildings new tricks.

The existing building already includes a 575-space, underground parking garage. To rebuild that today would cost over $12-15M. Jackpot!

One of the most odd architectural details are the deep overhangs.  

One can imagine a young architect geeking out over this clever shading device built into the building facade creating stunning shadow lines on the pen and ink mylar drawings.

Fast forward to today where it has become a safe haven for pigeons. 


Fortunately, the views are still quite dynamic, with glimpses of the Missouri River to the north.

Through careful negotiations with the Federal and State Historic Preservation offices, openings were added and mockups created to illustrate how the facade modifications would be executed.

One of the many challenges with an adaptation and change of use is creating fire separation assemblies where it was previously not required. 


Grappling with the constraints of a historic structure, Clockwork collaborated with the developer to create high-impact moments through a relentless resourcefulness.


The design team has a new appreciation for the electricians as they prepared to hoist the new shielded electrical service line up 13 floors!

One of the many benefits of converting an existing building is the ample staging areas and no cost onsite paint booths!

One of the many challenges with an adaptation and change of use is creating fire separation assemblies where it was previously not required.

The Need:

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the nation is desperately needing additional housing.  The cost and timeline to gain regulatory approvals, develop new construction, is not keeping pace with the demand for housing in most cities.

Is this a pretty building?  Nope.     

Can it make a small dent in the need for more affordable housing? Yep.

  • According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, the demand for multifamily housing is expected to grow by 7.1 million units by 2030. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing number of millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce, the aging of the baby boomer population, and the rising cost of homeownership.

We’re doing our part to make a difference and we’re excited to see this abandoned building be brought back to life.


About Clockwork

Our Mission

To LISTEN, UNDERSTAND, and RELENTLESSLY pursue our client’s goals. Our transparent process to build our client’s brands provides the edge over the competition in the war for talent, tenants, residents, and customers.

Our Promise

From the first meeting through the finishing touches of a project, our clients aren’t just part of the process — they’re part of our team. We call it expertise without ego. We provide a completely transparent and honest approach to every project. This allows us to constantly deliver agile and innovative results on time and on budget all over the world. These aren’t just empty words, they’re part of our core values.

This is our commitment and promise to you.


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