After nearly 40 years in the same office, IBJ Media had the opportunity to move to a historic building overlooking the iconic Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. CSO designed a space that features unique branding elements referencing the history of the printing industry while giving IBJ’s workplace a fresh new look.
Cursed with low ceilings and odd angles, the space presented challenges for space planning and capturing natural light. CSO’s interiors team focused on the positive – great views of Monument Circle and raw building materials that told the story of the building’s past. The designers embraced the odd building shape as an opportunity to carve out interesting spaces.
Upon entering the IBJ’s new offices, visitors are greeted by a custom art installation created from rolled up pieces of the IBJ’s past publications. Working closely with CSO, the artist took great care to highlight quirky references to Indiana, setting a sophisticated-but-fun tone from the very beginning. To the right, the reception desk sits in front of a black-on-black logo, representing raised printing press letters covered in black ink, a reference to the history of the profession.
Other creative decisions were guided by the mostly-linear layout of a newspaper and by the idea of the old meeting the new. As we sit at a crossroads between digital and printed news consumption, this new office tells a beautiful story of those things working in harmony with each other both in function and aesthetic.
The design features innovative spaces for experiential learning, including: flexible classrooms where local professionals teach workplace-style classes, centers staffed by organizations that involve students in research and outreach, and collaborative workspaces where students develop their own business in concert with experts from the region. The building represents Butler’s competitive distinction from its peer institutions by making activities and interaction immediately visible and central to students’ experience. The design provides visibility by creating transparent spaces that invite participation in central locations around the multi-story atrium at the heart of the building. In addition, the central, broad, open stairs and generous balconies encourage creative collisions as students, faculty, and visitors move and interact throughout the building.
The Innovation Commons, which opens onto the central atrium, is equipped for students to start and run their own businesses as well as a wide range of other types of experiential learning. The Centers, distributed around the main level, provide space where business professionals, faculty, and students work together to solve business challenges. Glass overhead doors open to connect to the atrium and convey the importance and vitality of that work to the school and its guests.
The Butler Business School is named in honor of Andre B. Lacy, a local, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, as well as a committed family man and daring adventurer. CSO’s interior design studio honored his life with a series of installations that incorporate a collection of custom-designed icons representing his many facets. The icons appear throughout the building as design elements in areas such as the rug in the main atrium and small medallions that are hidden throughout the building. A timeline of his life takes the form of 25 envelopes, connecting his first job in a mailroom and the endowment gift, reminding students that their humble beginnings can build to something great. The design team also featured objects that were important to Lacy – the time clock Lacy once used to clock into his job and the motorcycle he rode across continents. These were both gifts from the family who were intimate collaborators on the project. The conference table in the board room adjacent to the Dean’s office features the Lacy family knot and is a duplication of a table that exists at Lacy’s corporate headquarters.
Located in a prominent place on the campus, visible from the east entrance, the building completes the cross axis of the original campus masterplan. The building’s vertical towers and active silhouette reflect the characteristics of the much-loved historic campus. The building replaces a parking lot and defines the intersection of the two major green spaces at the center of the campus. CSO completed this project in collaboration with Goody Clancy.
MJ Insurance is a national insurance firm headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. The company opened in 1964 with four employees and, upon moving into their new headquarters, had grown into a national firm with over 150 employees at their Indiana location alone. The design team led MJ Insurance through an involved visioning process, culminating in a series of principles to guide the project. These principles had a central theme: capitalize on and enhance an already positive company culture.
While many companies in the insurance industry build offices with high walls, MJ Insurance set out to buck norms. They moved to a highly collaborative open office environment unique to their industry. In order to support this culture-promoting design decision, the team included conference rooms, enclaves, and focus rooms of many shapes and sizes to ensure that both morale and productivity would increase in the new space. Designers worked to provide the right furniture solutions to support an open work environment with a strong need for both collaboration and privacy. Company leadership showed their commitment to the design by joining the employees in open office workstations.
The culture at MJ Insurance centers around six core values: Passion, Leadership, Personal Development, Incremental Growth, Innovation, and Fun. These values drove the entire design – from the open office configuration to the centrally located social areas – but they are most evident in a consistent branding concept. MJ’s boardroom connects to the lobby with a glass storefront, which allows a branded art installation to span the two spaces. At the far end of the conference room is a white grid with vibrant yellow plus signs at many of the intersections. That grid becomes a series of extruded white-and-yellow plus signs of various heights and sizes, suspended from the ceiling and streaming into the lobby until they end over the monumental stair. The grid represents the discipline required for leadership, personal development, and incremental growth while the shape and color of the plus signs connect to MJ’s values of passion and fun. The company instantly connected with the installation and used the concept to relaunch their national brand.
MJ Insurance asked for an infusion of fun in their space. Sliding felt panels, a carpet pattern developed, and a unique series of branding elements did just that for this hard-working group.
Forty540, a speculative office building, was developed as Phase I of a two-building master-planned office park. The 5-story building includes expansive, interrupted floor plates of over 40,000 square feet, allowing for maximum flexibility and minimal disruption of interior space planning for large tenants while still maintaining common area efficiencies for small and mid-sized tenants. The building design includes high performance clear floor to ceiling glass to maximize visibility while minimizing solar heat gain within the building.
CSO’s interior designers worked with the owner to provide a lobby design that capitalizes on the concept of using the public area as an integrated community space. A social gathering lounge directly off the lobby provides space to meet, relax, and play. The finishes from the lobby stretch seamlessly into the lounge to create a connection and remove perceived barriers, thus breathing life into the lobby as well. A variety of seating options welcomes visitors and encourages them to utilize the space to meet their needs.
The architectural design reinterprets the classic base, middle, and top composition of commercial/public buildings in a more contemporary aesthetic. The exterior precast concrete skin uses three different colors and textures transcending from dark at the bottom to light at the top. The majority of the façade is composed of floor to ceiling punched windows, but incorporates sections of vertical precast panels and glass curtain wall to accent the main entrance and corners of the building.
CSO designers conducted extensive visioning sessions with focus groups from Allied Solutions to guide and inspire the design for their new headquarters. The Allied Solutions team had the following to say about the visioning process: “When you ask employees what they want in a new space, they are limited to envisioning only the environments in which they have personally experienced. The Visioning exercise developed by CSO draws out attitudes and ideas that employees otherwise would not be able to voice when asked, ‘what do you want in your space?’ This was a key part in the overall design strategy for Allied Solutions’ new headquarters, allowing our employees to voice their unique input for the company’s new space.”
The holistic interior design, and seamlessly incorporated branding elements are apparent immediately upon arrival to Allied’s second floor lobby. There, employees and visitors are enveloped by Allied Solutions’ “Blue Culture” with views to an atrium with a grand staircase, an informal mid-level conference room, social gathering spaces, and a 3rd level conference room. By design, the activity of the office is put on display in response to feedback provided by the user groups during their visioning sessions. Research and careful dissection of information from the visioning sessions gave designers the opportunity to carefully parallel Allied Solution’s unique culture in its interior environment. The result is a unique space that embodies the company’s cultural and business aspirations.
VisionLoft responds to the growing tech culture and the need for event space in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The building was built in 1908 as a livery with dirt floors, stables, and a shop-front. The property had undergone at least two conversions and had an uncertain past. The owners turned to CSO’s designers to guide them through a renovation to achieve a creative meeting hub in the city.
Exploratory demolition revealed brick walls and a wood ceiling consistent with the building’s age. Existing carpet was removed to expose a poured concrete floor most likely from the 1980’s. Two skylights and a fireplace were also repaired and are featured elements in the space.
The design team selected airy fixtures and furniture pieces to keep light moving through the space and introduced quirky tiles to keep the space modern and lighthearted. The industrial shell is juxtaposed against a moss wall and custom-made planter wall to give the back door privacy but allow light to filter in from both ends of the building. The space features all wireless technology, an interactive touch video wall, dual screen projectors, and more.
CSO’s collaboration with the owners resulted in a truly unique space in downtown Indianapolis for interactive meetings, ideation sessions, weddings, and more. The owners worked with Purposeful Design to design and fabricate the custom planter wall. Purposeful Design is a local not-for-profit whose mission is to help rebuild lives of individuals broken by addiction or homelessness, equip them with valuable work skills, and provide the gift of work training.
Recognizing that an up-to-date work environment would be a tool to help them enhance their culture and attract top talent, LDI hired CSO to guide them through a cultural shift to energize the office. Their goal was to provide an environment that facilitates interaction, collaboration, and the use of technology.
The interior design team at CSO led visioning sessions to determine the project’s guiding principles and interviewed representatives from each department to determine staff, work-flow needs, growth, and goals.
The interior design and corporate branding pay tribute to the rich heritage of the company in subtle ways such as the incorporation of the “Lacy Knot” in the pattern of a suspended ceiling and a custom conference table. Additionally, the design includes a new staircase to connect their two floors of office space. The stair features custom sculptural details to pay homage to the company’s history in the corrugated paper industry and milestone dates. There are a multitude of details that the design team was able to incorporate into the final design through careful research, in-depth visioning, and interview sessions with the client.
The goals for Columbus North High School included: flexible and adaptable learning spaces; an easily accessible, technology-rich environment; teacher and student work areas that inspire creativity, collaboration, problem solving, and innovation; the development of Centers of Excellence; and a safe and comfortable learning environment.
The project consists of 125,000 square feet of new additions and extensive renovations. By relocating the building entry to the opposite side and strategically placing building additions, the existing high school was transformed to fully address current needs and anticipate future needs. In order to bring the school up to current standards, five separate additions provide new space for music/performing arts, administrative areas, a new kitchen, additional classrooms, student resource and teacher resource areas, and for C4, a career and technical training center that serves multiple counties.
Interior renovations include the reconfiguration of existing areas to better accommodate the existing use of the space or to accommodate a new use for the space. Renovations of the first floor include the relocation of the existing cafeteria and kitchen areas, the relocation of the media center, new and/or renovated restrooms, and two new science labs.
Through collaboration and funding with the City of Indianapolis, and donor support, Red Cross was able to achieve their goal of building a new, more efficient headquarters. The new building’s reduced footprint and efficient use of space allows the American Red Cross (ARC) to commit more dollars to what they do best: always being there in times of need. Flexible training rooms, a community center, teaming areas, local office spaces, and huddle spaces encapsulate the programs within the headquarters, creating an environment that promotes interaction where employees and volunteers feel energized and accommodated. Employees are not assigned desks or specific work spaces so the design of the facility is very flexible and adaptable. Amenities include a rooftop terrace that creates a respite and wellness destination, and a coffee house that connects and creates community.
The building is extremely sustainable, with the exterior wrapped in red brick, seamlessly blending in with the surrounding architectural aesthetic. The headquarters has large windows that welcome natural light creating a community-oriented atmosphere and providing views of the surrounding neighborhood of downtown Indianapolis. In addition, a key branding focal point is incorporated on the interior corridor that displays historical Red Cross artifacts, local to Indianapolis. The iconic, ARC-branded “red” is carried throughout the headquarters. The American Red Cross new Indiana Regional Headquarters is the first Red Cross facility to reflect new design standards developed for the organization by Perkins + Will.
Photography: © James Steinkamp
The new Cummins, Inc. Seymour Technical Center was designed as the Global Headquarters for High-Horsepower Design and Engineering. The 2-story office addition includes workspace and collaboration areas, a dining facility and social hub, new entrances, and a security and training pavilion for the engine plant. The building design is a bold expression of Cummins’ engineering prowess and its proud history of designing, manufacturing, and distributing the finest, most powerful engines in the world. The main entrances incorporate dramatically cantilevered steel canopies, which are reminiscent of Columbus, Indiana’s iconic red suspension bridge. The office building’s exterior was designed with an advanced engineered skin, incorporating an exterior daylighting and shading system. Each of the primary exterior façades has been purposefully designed to respond to its specific and unique solar orientation.
Cummins wanted to “bring the office into the plant, and the plant into the office.” Highly durable and raw industrial materials such as corrugated steel panels, polished concrete, and wood slats fastened to exposed metal studs were incorporated throughout the office environment. These same materials can be found on the plant floor, and therefore subtly reinforce the connection. The engine assembly and finishing process was carefully examined early in the design process with the goal of informing the final design. Elements of the manufacturing process are on display in the office area through the incorporation of design features such as the compound curves and finish found on powder-coated steel benches which mimic the sleek lines of the engines.
Highly flexible, ergonomic workspace solutions and state-of-the-art audiovisual collaboration systems allow the engineers to tailor how and where they work. A variety of flexible meeting rooms, focus booths, soft seating areas, and social hubs are available to accommodate the changing needs of their workforce and promote interaction, collaboration, and engineering innovation.
The Cummins Seymour Technical Center does more than provide much needed space for engineering staff – it uplifts their work force in beautiful spaces and is an inspiring reflection of Cummins’ proud tradition of world-class engineering.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools conducted a community study and determined that rather than building a third high school to meet the needs of their growing community, they would build advanced learning center academies at each campus to accommodate an additional 1,000 students.
CSO was selected to work with stakeholders to explore the requirements of a learning center that would meet their academic needs while taking into consideration what teaching and learning looks like at institutions of higher education and centers of innovative learning. CSO worked with educational experts to gather stakeholder input around the tenets of 21st Century School Design and developed design concepts that met the required scope and quality for the project. Design documents and detailed renderings were developed for both high schools and were critical in the passing of the May 2013 referendum. After the referendum was passed, CSO used the detailed design documents to develop the design criteria package that allowed the school corporation to issue an RFP for design-build teams. CSO stayed on the project through construction as owner’s representative.
In addition to expanding each high school’s capacity by 1,000 students, the academies also reflect the most innovative design for teaching and learning with accessible space for early college classes that provide actual college credits for high school students. Additions are 2-stories and reflect the qualities of 21st Century Design with copious daylight, transparency in learning spaces, ubiquitous technology, and flexible learning spaces that are sized for small and large group gatherings. Teachers do not “own” their classroom space but have an office space available, similar to the arrangements in higher education. A Student Learning Commons, adjacent to the student café, has technology tables and opportunities for small group collaboration. A large, open science lab serves all disciplines and art labs open to one another, creating a free flowing creative environment.
CSO is working with the University of Louisville to design two new residence halls to replace Threlkeld and Miller Halls. In order to maintain enough housing to meet the University’s current needs, the 5-story, 452-bed buildings will be constructed in two phases. For the purpose of efficiency, floor plans for each phase are similar and include traditional-style double- and single-bedroom units arranged around a group of private-use bathrooms.
The buildings are designed to maximize the use of exterior spaces and to engage the students in active areas of living and learning. Amenities for each new facility will include a large multi-purpose room, collaboration spaces, a recreation/game room, a community kitchen, and multiple student lounges. As Design Architect on the project, CSO teamed with JRA Architects, of Louisville, as the architect of record for the project.