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.

MJ Insurance Corporate Headquarters

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.

Health Sciences Building

Part of the University’s efforts to economically revive the south side neighborhood and attract new students, the Health Sciences building provides a new gateway to campus and an integrated hub where faculty, students, and healthcare professionals can collaborate on education and research.

The new Health Sciences building is reflective of the University’s commitment to inspiring excellence by providing learning opportunities that respond in innovative ways to the needs of all students. The building design presents a transparent, flexible concept that allows for current and future needs of the programs housed within. The building’s prominent location creates an ideal venue for an outdoor seating and interaction area adjacent to the indoor café.

The building consolidates several departments into a collaborative and integrated learning environment that promotes intellectual and social interaction among students and faculty. Included in the design are teaching spaces, faculty areas, research labs, and wellness-related areas for the Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Kinesiology, and Psychology Programs.

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.

Roche Diagnostics Lab and Office

The objective for this 55,569 square foot, 2-story building addition was to bring together five related product testing laboratories into one unified setting for increased productivity and effectiveness. In order to address workflow requirements, the design is sited as an addition to an existing building but it is essentially a freestanding two-story structure. The program included product testing labs, various purpose-designed meeting spaces, social hub/interaction spaces, and a variety of flexible, concentrative and mobile work settings.

The program areas were layered vertically in the building to manage biohazard separations and controls, with the lab spaces on the first floor and the flexible work environments, meeting, and interaction areas located on the second floor for access to natural light. In order to promote interaction and a sense of community, the most public function – the social hub – is located adjacent to the main staircase, at the most centralized point in the circulation atrium. This convergence of circulation and social functions has proven to be very conducive to staff interaction.

In order to maximize natural light while adhering to sustainable design features, detailed 3-D models, sun path studies, building sections, and energy analysis models were developed and analyzed to inform the final design configuration of the west façade shading system and glazing. The design solution creates a carefully designed, glazed west-facing façade which allows very controlled, diffused natural daylight directly into the circulation atrium and deeply into the lab, office, and interaction spaces beyond.

The interior spaces were designed with extensive interior glazing to display the advanced laboratory technology and innovation that is central to Roche’s business success and corporate culture, as well as to allow for the deep penetration of natural light. The Design Team combined very clean, European modernist materials and furnishings with a warm palette of neutral hues and accent colors rooted in the native Indiana landscape.

As the result of the client’s tech-based culture and high design aspirations, the design team employed a rigorous, multidisciplinary, sustainable design approach to create an uplifting, technologically advanced facility that inspires its scientific staff and expresses its culture of scientific innovation.