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R&R Realty Creates Paragon Prairie Tower as Gift to Iowa

A new architectural landmark will soon redefine the landscape in the western Des Moines, Iowa suburbs. R&R Realty Group today announced the construction of Paragon Prairie Tower, a tower that will rise 120 feet and feature one of the largest glass tiled murals in the U.S. The Paragon Prairie Tower will mark the entrance to Paragon Office Park at 123rd and Meredith Drive in Urbandale.

"The Paragon Prairie Tower is designed to be a tribute to Iowa and Iowans," said Daniel Rupprecht, President of R&R Realty Group. "We intend for it to draw businesses to the Paragon Office Park, but also be a visual reminder of our Iowa Heritage."

Located in the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, the Paragon Prairie Tower was designed to represent the Midwestern work ethic of saving and harnessing our abundant natural resources. It will combine state-of-the- art technology with old world materials and craftsmanship. A colorful shimmering scene will be created on top of panels of pre-cast concrete using hundreds of thousands of individual fragments of glass. The glass mosaic will depict the Iowa prairie with a field of wildflowers, including Coneflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Daisies and Clover amidst bluestem grass. When complete, the scene on Paragon Prairie Tower will be approximately 5,000 square feet, which to date will be the largest known mosaic glass tile mural in the U.S.

The Paragon Prairie Tower was designed by a team of artists from RDG Planning & Design, including David Dahlquist, Thomas Wright, Don Scandrett, Matt Johnson and Travis Rice. Designed to be a dramatic architectural icon, the Paragon Prairie Tower will create an identity for the Paragon Office Park and the region. "This initially was designed as an icon for Paragon Office Park," said Dahlquist, artist at RDG Dahlquist Art Studio. "The dramatic combination of three-dimensional glass tile painting with state-of-the-art lighting technology creates a visual statement that will become a cultural landmark for the State of Iowa."

Clad in a tapestry of Italian glass mosaic, the Paragon Prairie Tower will stand 120 feet tall and measure 16 feet in diameter. The glass used on the Paragon Prairie Tower is from Ravenna, Italy, the capitol of the western Byzantine Empire and site of the first Golden Age, over 1,500 years ago. The mosaic layout and color pattern will be created by Dahlquist and his team and then fabricated in Italy. The mosaic will be laid out like a large canvas and marked to create a map of the mural for when it is installed around the round structure by specially-trained craftsmen.

Paragon Prairie Tower will also feature an internally illuminated drum or globe at the top. "Lighting of the Paragon Prairie Tower will create yet another remarkable dimension as the image changes from day to night and from season to season. The brilliant bits of glass will flicker against the horizon," said Dahlquist.

Paragon Prairie Tower will serve as the main entrance to Paragon Office Park, rise from a plaza and overlook a four-acre lake. Paragon Prairie Tower's plaza expects to be the place where tenants and other groups can host parties, concerts, and other events. Public access will be available off of Meredith Drive. Bike trails, shops and restaurants are planned for the Paragon Office Park as well. Paragon Prairie Tower is expected to cost over $1 million. "This is our gift to the people of Iowa and the Midwest," said Rupprecht. "We hope people from all over will come to see and appreciate this one-of-a-kind landmark."

R&R Realty Group is the area's premier full-service real estate company with development, brokerage, construction, property management, technology services, capital management and acquisitions. R&R was founded in 1985 by Daniel Rupprecht and is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in Iowa with nearly 5 million square feet under management. The company remains family owned.

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