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Deborah Berke completes new Cummins office building

Architecture Midwest
Deborah Berke completes new Cummins office building. (Photo: Chris Cooper)
Deborah Berke completes new Cummins office building. (Photo: Chris Cooper)

Cummins Inc., the Columbus, Indiana–based diesel motor company has completed a new office tower in downtown Indianapolis. The nine-story building was designed by New York-based Deborah Berke Partners. The building will be home to distribution and select corporate offices.

The slender profile of the new Cummins office, along with its orientation, are optimized to maximize environmental performance. Along with reducing heating and cooling loads, the shape allows for every worker to have direct access to natural light. The facade of the project is made up of a varied grid of glass and metal fins that are calibrated for the particular shading and daylight needs of each face of the building.

The slender form of the Cummins building is shaped to optimize natural lighting, and heating and cooling gain. (Courtesy Cummins)

The slender form of the Cummins building is shaped to optimize natural lighting, and heating and cooling gain. (Photo: Chris Cooper)

J. Irwin Miller, Cummins’s former Chairman and CEO, had an intense interest in architecture and was a major architectural patron. The foundation which he founded helped fund many civic and cultural buildings by famous modernist architects in the small town of Columbus, Indiana. Cummins itself has facilities designed by architects such as Kevin Roche, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Weese.

“Over the decades, Cummins has demonstrated a commitment to great design that benefits its employees, its customers, and the community,” said Deborah Berke in a press release. “This building carries that legacy forward with an environmentally sustainable design that dignifies the work going on inside while enhancing the urban realm. The building’s articulated facades and distinctive form serve a purpose—to create a comfortable, light-filled work environment for employees that adds to the vitality on Market Street. Adding some muscle to the great bones of downtown Indianapolis, the park is a public amenity that does double duty as a robust piece of green infrastructure.”

The base of the tower includes a lobby and retail. Employee common spaces fills the second floor, including a space called the Square for large gatherings of employees and guests. The second floor also includes a conference center for employee development. Throughout the building flexible work spaces and connective common spaces allow for workers to collaborate and work in multiple configurations.

Cummins commissioned or acquired over 60 pieces of art for the new building. (Courtesy Chris Cooper)

Cummins commissioned or acquired over 60 pieces of art for the new building, filling the lobby and office spaces with original art. (Photo: Chris Cooper)

Throughout the building, an art program will fill the workspaces with over 60 individual works of art. Three pieces by artists Kendall Buster, Odili Donald Odita, and the collaborative of Jennifer Riley and Emily Kennerk were commissioned specifically for the building.

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