RATIO is a multidisciplinary practice of thought leaders, planners and designers. In every project, they look first to understand each client’s character and history, using innovative design to reflect their mission, values and spirit.
101 South Pennsylvania Street | Indianapolis, in
Square Footage: 12,900
Employee Count: 71
Year of Buildout: 2014
General Contractor: Pepper Construction
Architect / Interiors: RATIO
Furniture: Steelcase / Business Furniture
How does your space drive productivity, collaboration and connectivity?
By evaluating how we work and collaborate, we discovered the most successful teams found ways to support ongoing engagement between members. While colleagues were not always located in the same office, these teams found ways to engage socially on a fairly regular basis.
Armed with this information we set out to invert our existing workplace model from one that valued individual privacy to one that values interaction and communication in an open office environment. We worked with Steelcase and Business Furniture to develop a custom workstation that fosters interaction, abandoning high panels in favor of articulating monitors that allow for quick interactions at each desk.
Within the same footprint of our old office we doubled the area devoted to meeting and collaboration and distributed these spaces throughout our two floors, allowing clients to interact with the entire office and providing easy access to staff.
What is the one thing that is unforgettable when someone walks through your space?
In the heart of our workplace we located a signature “Design Lab,” a casual café space that celebrates the design process and creates an experimental learning, social and meeting environment. In this space employees prepare meals and eat together, learn about new products from outside vendors, sketch out ideas on our custom-fabricated, large-format glass markerboard wall, and present their expertise to colleagues through our firm-wide monthly Seminar Series.
The Design Lab also allows us to open our doors to the public and host events ranging from portfolio reviews for university students to gallery shows featuring local artists. An outdoor extension of the Design Lab provides a unique sidewalk patio for guests and employees to enjoy.
How does your space tell your company’s story and reflect its brand?
This renovation is part of a multi-phased strategy to align our brand with the evolution RATIO has experienced over the last several years. Growing to four studios in three states with work internationally has challenged us to find new ways to collaborate, to discover technology that enhances mobility and ultimately to challenge the role of the physical office.
With this project we wanted to embrace our location in the urban core of Indianapolis, a commitment that dates back to the firm’s founding in 1982. To achieve this we relocated our entrance from the building’s lobby to the corner of Pennsylvania & Maryland Streets and added a signature chartreuse backdrop reception wall that depicts the golden ratio, the basis for our firm’s logo.
Around the corner, a large-scale glass history wall showcases RATIO’s most significant milestones and projects and tells the story of the firm’s evolution.
Lastly, each of our collaboration and meeting spaces are named for a well-known deceased Indianapolis architect or designer who embodied many of the same design principles we strive to uphold in our practice today.
How does your space engage your employee base?
Sustainability is something vitally important to RATIO and our employees. While the project has been submitted for LEED Silver certification, we wanted to focus our energy more on employee health and system experimentation than simply achieving points.
One goal we set was to use natural light as a primary light sources. By moving the few enclosed offices to the workspace’s interior, we managed to provide the greatest amount of daylighting for staff who are in the office the vast majority of the time.
We also were able to incorporate one of the features most requested by employees, a secured bike storage room, showers, and lockers for bike commuters.
Finally, a prominent area at the top of our staircase features a rotating display of artwork created by teams within the office, allowing our design professionals to showcase their creative talents to colleagues and visitors.