National Design Factory & Art Center
Building Type / Cultural
Location / Indianapolis, Indiana
Square Footage /20,000 sq. ft.
Design Tools / Rhino / Vray / Adobe Photoshop / Adobe Illustrator / Adobe InDesign / Physical Models
* Gresham Smith & Partners Design Competition 1st Place Project Award
What once was a prospering community situated around The National Motor Vehicle Corporation has become abandoned and broken away from Indianapolis. The potential to renew life and energy is within the development of the abandoned factory. A vinculum, a bond or band-like connection, will be made between the existing factory, the Monon trail, and the surrounding communities of Indianapolis. Together, local artist, designers, musicians, and performers will unite as one to create an environment of positive energy and enthusiasm that will restore a disconnected neighborhood.
The design extends from the existing factory to make a direct connection with the Monon trail, bringing people into galleries, stage performances, recreational space, and markets selling locally grown plants. The front façade references the history of the factory through the use of similar materials and pattern language, while new fabricated steel forms accelerate though the existing structure and reach out into the community.
Exterior spaces flood the site giving walkers, bikers, runners, and rollerblades direct access to all aspects of the design. The Design Factory is not only setting an example for art and design, but the integration of environmental efforts. Photovoltaic Panels line the large flat roof of the existing factory helping to reduce the large energy loads of the facility. Covered courtyard spaces provide areas for art sales and markets of locally grown crops, while shading the interior galleries. Rainwater is collected off of the large sloping roof of the auditorium, and is reused for the urban garden. Large sliding doors open the galleries and auditorium to the exterior creating passive cooling and blurring the line between the interior and exterior. This blurred division is what unites the community and the design.