The James and Susan Bartlett Center for Reflection was conceived as a quiet, contemplative place located in the DePauw University Nature Park. The University envisioned a unique place for reflection on values and thoughtful examination of life.
The Center is anchored by a glass-walled gathering room featuring a towering limestone fireplace that serves as a backdrop to group discussions, lectures, sermons, and events. The building also includes a theological library and extensive outdoor deck areas in order to enjoy the surrounding environment.
The small structure was designed sustainably to minimize its impact on the environment and its immediate environs. The building was constructed with natural, regional, and recycled materials. The site and adjacent habitat were restored with native Indiana plants and incorporate a natural rainwater treatment pond. The interior environments were designed to maximize natural light, views, human comfort, and controllability. CSO completed this project in conjunction with Lake|Flato Architects.
SEP (Software Engineering Professionals) is a local software company with a national footprint. When faced with the challenge of creating a new “forever home” for their headquarters, SEP and Pure Development turned to CSO. The design team worked with key stakeholders to capture the essence of SEP and marry it with the natural environment of the site. Key architectural features, such as the random rhythm of the façade’s vertical lines, mimic the complexity, order and rhythms found in nature. The rhythm also contributes in specific ways to the interior environment – enhancing collaborative spaces, piquing curiosity, and inspiring ingenuity. The natural assets of the site are leveraged through the strategic placement of interior walls, the framing of views, and the selection of an intentionally restrained material palette.
SEP’s unique brand is on display throughout the design. Designers found inspiration and drew a connection between the view-accenting architecture and the company’s preferred style of work: scrum. In this approach, employees apply large numbers of post-its to walls. The shape of a post-it on a wall mimicked the shape of the building footprint, and designers used this connection to influence key design features. Upon arrival visitors will notice an artful series of back-lit metal tabs peeling from a feature wall. This artistic expression pays homage to the scrum process while serving as a subtle branding component. The design team further embraced the holistic design approach by crafting one of a kind furniture pieces from timbers sourced from the SEP site.
The unapologetic blend of nature and technology is evident within the new SEP headquarters. Today’s technology infuses a sense of hustle, and SEP challenged this notion by embracing a more tranquil environment that fosters collaboration and nurtures new ideas.