Year in Review: 2018

Axis Architecture Blog Post

It’s down-right difficult to describe 2018 in one word. “Rewarding,” “challenging,” exciting,” and introspective” are all fine words, but they don’t quite capture the nuances. So, instead of summarizing 2018 with an adjective, here’s what we started, what we finished, what we learned, and what caught our eye(s). Here’s what.


Two-story office space with grand staircase
This 100,000-square-foot project in downtown Indianapolis united the fourth and fifth floors with a central staircase.


What We Finished 

We completed several corporate projects in 2018, including a 100,000-square-foot renovation. It was a monumental project that turned an aging office into an open one. By cutting a big ol’ hole in the floor and designing a dramatic, central staircase, we united the two-story space. Another project in downtown Indy? The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana. If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen photos of the space, which includes vivid reminders of all the ACLU does to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals. We also completed a 27,000-square-foot renovation for Telamon, a Carmel-based telecommunications company. Their space features a variety of natural elements, including wooden ceiling features and – our favorite – a moss wall. Let’s not forget Community Health Network, either. Their IT department now boasts a custom mural from artist Alicia Zanoni.


Artist Alicia Zanoni designed this custom mural for Community Health Network’s IT department. The mural is divided into three sections: one for developers, one for cyber security, and one for shared core values.


What We Started

Over the course of 2018, we partnered with several community-based organizations, including the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the City of West Lafayette, IU Hillel, and Eskenazi Health. It’s an honor to work with them and create spaces that celebrate community. Take IU Hillel, for instance. Together, we are designing a home away from home for Jewish students. We want to cement the new facility as a place to pray, play, eat, and study together. And at the Eskenazi Health Center Pecar, we are working with Indy Urban Acres and Merritt Chase to design an urban farm, garden, and pantry. The new facility will serve as an educational resource for the community and will ensure that Hoosiers in need have access to healthy foods.


What Caught Our Eye(s)

We recommend this profile of James Stewart Polshek, who received the 2018 AIA Gold Medal; Stalled!, a website devoted to gender-neutral restrooms and transgender access; and the case for the six-hour workday. Check ‘em out.


What We Found Exciting

Indianapolis continues to evolve. A couple of our favorite goings-on? The redevelopment of the former Citizens Energy Coke plant and the completion of the Sports Legend Experience at The Children’s Museum. (The Design Gallery revamp at Newfields is snazzy, too.) Since the spring, we’ve taken advantage of our proximity to Whole Foods – salads, snacks, and macarons are only two blocks away. Many Axis team members have also given the electric scooters a try. True, “scooter mania” is not without its qualms. But, follow the rules [of the road], and they’re a quick, fun way to get to meetings.


Brightwood Branch - Indianapolis Public Library
The new, 15,000-square-foot Brightwood Branch will replace the current branch, which is located in a shopping center across the street.


What Else

Project-wise, we broke ground on the new Brightwood Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library, the Resident Success Center at Carriage House East, and Switchyard Park. We also finished – in addition to the corporate projects mentioned above – the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville and Fire Station No. 42 in Sugar Creek Township. We celebrated Matt MacDonald and Kristen Stout, who passed their final ARE divisions this year and became licensed architects. Architectural associate Ashley Thornberry also presented at the 2018 F.I.E.R.O. Fire Station Design Symposium in Raleigh. This was also the year we did a few out-of-the-ordinary things. In February, Axis and TWG held an Instameet at the former Ford assembly plant. Soon after, Axis, Rundell Ernstberger Associates, and iMOCA hosted an art show. We also won some awards from AIA Indiana, and continued – through productive, meaningful design – to design people-centric places that celebrate a client’s culture, beliefs, and style.

Thank you to our clients, team members, partners, and fellow creatives for a memorable year. Happy holidays to all!