Project: Elements Restaurant

Year: 2003

Location: Indianapolis


The dramatic remodel of this building was performed on a limited budget, so the space's decorative character was revealed through simple but skillfully applied materials such as paint, carpet, and upholstery, and cabinetry details. Utilizing the vertical space was a principal construction challenge. A series of high niches filled with artful origami light fixtures were installed. All of the load-bearing columns and beams in the space were considered architectural challenges, with bulkheads and creative column wraps, hiding the mechanical and electrical systems becoming a design feature. The substantial concrete ceiling beams throughout the space were painted to emphasize the architectural and structural elements; gold colors were used on these masses to exemplify the space's structural integrity. Incorporating a smooth transition from the interior to exterior was also a challenge. On the southeast wall of the restaurant, two existing double doors were the only sources of light into the entire space. To accommodate more natural light, this double layer brick wall was opened into a 12 foot high glass curtain wall, while still maintaining the historic appearance of the building.