Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The Reliant building is a product of thoughtful design resulting from constraint. Set within the tight-knit Indianapolis Nor thside community of Broad Ripple Village, the building proved to bridge the physical and nostalgic gaps within this proud community…through Architecture.
Two small run-down bungalows endeared by local residents were razed to create this unique site, with similar bungalows directly to the North and businesses to the South. While the building placement on site is consistent with the established setback of our neighbors, the Architect’s intentionally setback the second floor to be more consistent with the established residential character, establishing a human scale and presence at the commercial street level. This simple design move allows this modest $1.2 million building to span the gap between residential and commercial uses on two narrow bungalow lots.
The building form is created from existing horizontal lines and datum, aligning adjacent residential porch roofs, and commercial masonry parapets. To enhance the commercial character sought after by the community, the building façade is stretched along the street, incorporating a broader face that shields the required parking from view.
With the second floor setback from the first floor below, an elevated outdoor patio is established under the protective deep roof overhang. This exterior room becomes an extension of the interior spaces, providing flexible meeting and lounge space to take in the neighboring views. The structure is an honest expression of systems and materials, utilizing off-the-shelf glue laminated members and insulated structural panels for wall and roof construction, leaving plywood ceilings left to view. To heighten the visual impact, the setback second floor street façade is clad in full height glass to create a floating roof, counter-balancing the ground floor masonry base.
Once the sun sets, the straight-forward clarity of the architectural vision is evident. The design intention to leave the second floor lights on every evening allows Reliant Partners to transcend mere building, becoming a beautiful “glowing lantern ” and providing a calming presence and sense of pride for the residential and commercial neighbors of the Village.
“This small commercial building is expressed as a simple, wood frame pavilion placed upon a masonry plinth. This strategy allows the lower level bank to appear (appropriately) secure, while allowing the upper level office space to be airy and filled with daylight. The scale of the building appears to complement the neighborhood without copying the neighbors.”