Barnes & Thornburg Vault Room Renovation

CSO’s Interior Design Studio partnered with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP to renovate an under-utilized asset at their national headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. Originally built in 1903 as a bank, their office at 11 S. Meridian Street still houses the original vault room in the lower level.

As is often the case, the client had ongoing relationships with other designers. However, they sought out CSO’s expertise when the other firms’ ideas for the space did not align with the client’s vision. CSO worked closely with the client to design the space, utilizing hand-drawn sketches and 3D renderings to align the client’s vision with designers’ interpretation.

The original space was comprised of multiple vaults, of varying sizes, within a larger secure area. Measuring at just 3,249 square feet, the space was going to need to maximize flexibility and style if it was going to satisfy the program. To accommodate the client’s goals for utilizing the space, the team also devised two furniture setups: lounge seating to support cocktail events or more casual gatherings, and a conference layout to support board meetings and other formal meetings. Each setup needed to look and function as if it was permanent so great care was taken to select pieces that looked substantial but could be easily moved.

Designers drew inspiration for detailing such as the scalloped frieze and oculus featured at the top of the walls from existing architecture in the client’s office and on the historic building. The primary, elaborate vault door was fully restored to become a focal point. When it was determined that one of the other vault doors needed to be removed it was deconstructed, with a portion of it becoming a feature inset into the floor. At either end of the newly created primary gathering space, bookcases are anchored with green safe deposit boxes which were intentionally preserved in their unrestored state, adding character to the design and embracing the vault’s storied journey.

As a subtle reference to height markers often seen in mugshots, the design team added a quirky tick mark detail set into the trim that frames each set of doors. Above each of the tick-mark details is a quatrefoil with a key-hole detail, personalizing the classic detailing to this unique project.

The result of the collaboration with the client is a uniquely branded space that is highly flexible. In a space that could easily have felt confined, designers achieved a warm elegance worthy of admiration by the client and visitors alike.

Carr Workplaces – Friendship Heights

Carr Workplaces asked CSO to develop a design to refresh their Friendship Heights location and breathe new life into their brand. CSO achieved this with a sophisticated, energetic approach that relies on a vibrant accent colors and artwork to bring the space to life. This combination paired with the exposed structure creates an urban feel, which is unique in the historic suburban neighborhood where the office is located.

The renovated space proudly displays Carr’s hospitality-focused roots, and emphasizes the arrival sequence with a casual café. The café serves visitors and the daily users of the workplace equally and brings a new, active energy to the lobby. Designers fine-tuned the conference spaces, adjacent to the lobby, and reused glass entries of existing conference rooms to add dimension and sight lines to exterior views while artfully filtering the natural light.

The renovation has been widely praised by the diverse demographic of occupants. The mix of classic detailing with modern sophistication bridges multiple generations, and makes for a comfortable space for all. Carr Workplaces has deemed the Friendship Heights location their new flagship, and plans to incorporate the influence across the county.

Lacy School of Business

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.

IBJ Media Corporate Headquarters

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.

Allied Solutions Corporate Headquarters

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.

The Taft Center

The Taft Center, located in the Regions Tower in downtown Indianapolis, was conceptualized by the law firm to achieve multiple goals: to establish a ground floor presence within one of the most well-known buildings downtown, to provide a venue to entertain and host, and finally, to expand the conference spaces currently located on floors 31-35 to meet a growing need. To achieve these goals, Taft partnered with the CSO Interior Design Studio.

Designers incorporated simple forms with classic material choices, balanced by distinctive design features. These elements, coupled with the playful constellation of lights and identifiable repetition of the signature Taft forward slash, create a space that is fresh and exclusive in the legal profession.

Understanding the sensitivities of the business that Taft conducts, and their desire to maximize the glass within the conference rooms, the design team worked closely with CSO’s acoustician to design an all glass system that maximizes acoustic benefits. This resulted in nearly uninterrupted walls of glass, which terminate at a back-printed glass panel that features downtown’s iconic Monument Circle.

The café space, which is strategically located to incorporate a street-front presence, offers an inviting urban feel with a natural palette.

LDI, Ltd.

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.

GE Aviation LEAP Engine Facility

The GE Aviation LEAP Engine Facility is the second of its kind in the United States and the third project of this type CSO has designed for GE. The facility features some of the most advanced manufacturing techniques in the world and represents a major milestone in technology development in this country.

The 35’ clear height manufacturing space included 80’ structural spans with 12.5 ton beam cranes, 10” thick, ultra-flat, polished concrete floors and generous amounts of natural light provided by expansive clerestory windows. The tiered ceiling panels within the assembly space help humanize the scale. They serve as a space transition and a subtle representation of flight. The finishes are intentionally light, clean, and neutral. This notion relates directly to the GE brand and the idea of intentional design without compromise.

The office/administrative portion of the building was designed to express the aerodynamic curvature and the composite construction techniques of the LEAP engine, most notably its fan blade, by dramatically incorporating several overlapping layers of sinuously curved metal, glass, and steel.

The interior design reinforces the intentional nature of the engine while embracing the technology. The central greeting point is a reception desk designed as a seamless, clean cone and constructed of solid surface. Beautifully crafted metal composite triangles are suspended above the reception desk representing the combustion technology present within the LEAP engine. In addition, this sculptural element contributes to the notion of movement so dominantly present within the architecture.

Geddes Hall

The building features the University’s traditional blend of brick colors with light colored cast stone accents, copper gutters and downspouts, and a slate roof.  The façade is punctuated with regularly spaced operable windows.  The detailed profile of these windows exactly match the historic wood windows installed in the two buildings adjacent to the project, which were built in the 1940’s.  The Geddes windows, however, reinterpret the window design in long lasting, energy efficient, and maintenance free anodized aluminum frames with high performance glazing.

The interior is distinctly arts and crafts inspired.  Warm yellows, earthy reds, and muted deep green colors are used throughout the building giving it a cozy earthy character.  Wood wainscoting used heavily in the public spaces adds to the building’s inviting nature and historic feel.  Informal gathering spaces of various sizes are found throughout the building.  Of particular note is the student library, found on the first floor, which features a fireplace centered along the north wall flanked by traditional built-in bookcases and classic arts and crafts furniture.  Two of the other focal points on the first floor are the chapel and coffee house, located just off the building’s main entrance.

ASI Limited

ASI Limited, an Indianapolis-based supplier, fabricator, and installer of architectural window and specialty systems, needed a new corporate headquarters after outgrowing their prior office, which was also designed by CSO.

ASI takes responsibility for enclosing a building’s exterior, including curtain walls, windows, metal panels, doors, and ornamental metals so the design needed to reflect the company’s progressive, forward-thinking corporate philosophy.

The building features 20,000 square feet of office space defined by a curtainwall at the corner of the building. The design incorporates Kalzip perforated screens that are attached using a specially designed grid system and concealed fasteners to anchor it to the curtain wall. The client was intrigued by the fact that, during the day, the screen was very visible as a design element but at night the screen took on a whole different appearance. In addition to providing a design element, the screen provided a shield from the afternoon sun on the southwest side of the building.