© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper
  • Architects: Deborah Berke Partners
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • Lead Architects: Deborah Berke Partners
  • Architect Of Record: Ratio Architects
  • Area: 175000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Chris Cooper
  • Landscape Architects: Land Collective
  • Design Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Fink Roberts & Petrie, Inc.
  • Design Mep Engineer: Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.
  • Mep Engineer: Circle Design Group, Inc.
  • Sustainability Consultant: Atelier 10
  • Facade Consultant: Front, Inc.
  • Lighting Designer: One Lux Studio
  • Construction Manager: F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc

© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

Text description provided by the architects. For the Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters, Deborah Berke Partners wanted to reinforce an active pedestrian experience on Market Street, a major thoroughfare in downtown Indianapolis, and create multiple connections to the new urban plaza and lush park from the city. “We started from an urban idea,” said Noah Biklen, principal at Deborah Berke Partners, “the form of the building undulates at its base to shape views and movement between the street and the urban plaza and park.”


© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

Cummins is at its heart a technology company with a history of commissioning innovative architecture and design. “It’s an honor to work for Cummins,” Deborah Berke said. “Among major American companies, I think they are the greatest patron of architecture and design. And they have been for generations.”


© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

The unusually slender office floorplates with high ceilings provide abundant natural daylight to every space while minimizing reliance on electricity. The building features a high performance “calibrated” façade with varying degrees of transparency and opacity and an integrated system of fins and shades that limit heat gain and increase visual and thermal comfort.


© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper



The office spaces are tailored to encourage all kinds of working: collaborative, focused, social, active, contemplative, informal. A variety of workspaces, including private meeting rooms, team rooms, open collaborative areas, focus booths and informal gathering spaces like the double height “social hubs” connecting the floors, accommodate different types of work. These social hubs offer expansive views of downtown and the new urban park.


© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

The post-tensioned concrete building allows for long-spans and fewer columns in the office floors in order to increase visual transparency and spatial flexibility. The formed concrete columns and ceiling are left partially exposed and the ribbons of facade are ever-present.  Within this bold expression of structure and skin, elements made of natural materials, such as built-in wood furniture and stairways, recur in public zones and invite a human connection. Patterned and colored fabrics create vibrant counterpoints in social spaces and bring identity to different areas within the building. Deborah Berke Partners worked with Cummins to commission site-specific art throughout.


© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

Second floor plan

Second floor plan

© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

The distinctive appearance of the facades is the result of careful study of the building’s position in relation to the sun and the city of Indianapolis. The building has “calibrated façades” with several different types of glass and an integrated system of sun shades and vertical fins. “The shading elements help to reduce solar heat gain and glare in the building, reduce energy loads for cooling and makes the interior more comfortable for the workers inside,” said Noah Biklen. Cummins is committed to reducing its environmental footprint, and to creating pleasant and productive work spaces for its employees. The design of the building reflects and embodies these values. The façade and sculpted mass of the building gives Cummins an indelible identity in downtown Indianapolis.


© Chris Cooper

© Chris Cooper

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