The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Adaptive Reuse Projects

The renovation and reuse of an existing structure for new purposes

Voting ends at 5pm on Monday, November 15
 
Clara Luper Center for Educational Services

ARCHITECT: GSB, Inc.

CONTRACTOR: Lippert Brothers

PHOTOGRAPHY: Simon Hurst Photography


GSB transformed the former Central National Bank three-story office building into the new administrative headquarters for Oklahoma City Public Schools, the state’s largest school district. The main building features numerous offices, conference rooms and collaboration areas for approximately 180 employees. New amenities such as training rooms and a staff lounge were added to the basement. The original bank vault was stripped of its safe deposit boxes and converted into a storm shelter that can accommodate all building occupants in inclement weather.


An addition, in a more contemporary yet still complimentary design style, contains the main entrance and reception area, conference and meeting rooms, and a large multipurpose room, which is used for regular school board meetings, professional development sessions and community events. With the limited resources available to the district, GSB helped breathe new life into an unused building to create an environment thoughtfully designed for the district’s needs and aspirations.


The building has been named the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services, in honor of a local civic leader who led sit-in protests that helped end segregation laws and promote racial equality in Oklahoma City.

Bradford House


ARCHITECT: Gardner

CONTRACTOR: Lingo Construction

PHOTOGRAPHY: Mel Willis


Originally built as a private, multi-family residence in 1912; the new owners engaged the Architect in 2015 to re -imagine the tired building into a one -of-a-kind hospitality destination.

The final concept involved a careful and complete transformation of the original building dubbed “The Historic Home,” designed and construction of “The Modern Guesthouse,” and a private courtyard. The project’s ultimate success merged the owner / interior designer’s eclectic, traditional aesthetic with the Firm’s modern design sensibilities.


Architectural plans re-configured the Historic Home into 12 guest rooms, a full -service restaurant, bar, library and parlor. Each room is unique, featuring original soaring ceilings, balconies, tile, mirror, and millwork details. Custom wood work designed, fabricated and installed by the Architectural Firm can be found wrapping the new front porch, winding up the grand central staircase, and in details throughout the Historic Home.


The European-style courtyard marries the buildings as a private sanctuary for guests. Designed to intentionally fall behind the Historic Home, the Modern Guesthouse features 26 guest rooms with a mix of Scandinavian and Palm Springs-inspired finishes, including wood furnishings designed and fabricated by the Architect.

Crew Workspace


ARCHITECT: Gardner

CONTRACTOR: Gardner

PHOTOGRAPHY: Crystal Shaw


The driving purpose of the design was to provide an upscale co-working environment for local and visiting entrepreneurs, creating a space that encourages collaboration and inspiration. Custom furniture, high-end finishes, natural light, and a unique set of amenities in the building stand out from other workspace options in the market. At street-level, the main entry opens to a combination of reception and event space, with desks and common areas available for day rental. Second floor access is available for longer-term tenants, with private offices and open workstations that capture natural light filtering in from the surrounding perimeter of original windows. A secondary kitchen and lobby are available for entertaining clients, as well as private conference rooms and phonebooths for flexible work needs.


A custom-designed white oak trellis creates a focal point visible from the street, while allowing light to carry through to the first-floor co-working space. The same tones and pattern are replicated on full-height barn doors that close off the event hall. Upstairs, the existing wood and masonry are further carried through the space with custom -designed furniture, fabricated specifically to suit the space. The final product is a space that feels comfortable, inviting, and productive for all involved.


SWOSU eSports Arena


ARCHITECT: MA+ Architecture

CONTRACTOR: SPM Services / SWOSU

PHOTOGRAPHY: Simon Hurst Photography


Southwestern Oklahoma State University boasts one of, if not the only, esports competition arena in the State of Oklahoma. This brand-new eSports Arena is located within the SWOSU Wellness Center on the Weatherford campus. This renovation project converted 3,200 Square feet of space, previously designed to be a racket ball court, into an esports facility. Dedicated to

the University’s esports program, this space is capable of hosting two teams of six and 130 spectators.


The design team practiced an extensive coordination process with the University blending IT, electrical, audio visual, and architectural elements to create an atmosphere supportive of their specialized gaming system layout needs. This unique and engaging design not only accommodates esports players and spectators on campus, it provides greater opportunities for SWOSU’s esports program to connect people around the world through gaming, right here in Oklahoma.

Make Ready


ARCHITECT: Fitzsimmons Architects

CONTRACTOR: Lingo Construction

PHOTOGRAPHY: Joseph Mills Photography


Make Ready was originally the site of a local car dealership’s “make ready” bays, where they would prepare cars for sale. In this spirit, the concept was to create a small-scale campus providing an opportunity for small businesses to incubate – to make themselves ready.


A challenge in adaptive reuse, this project consisted of first renovating the original automotive garage. Once the demand was realized for spaces of this size, the decision was made to expand the campus, with a full renovation and addition of the east building. These 8 additional suites mirrored Phase 1, creating a welcoming environment and interesting mix of businesses in the Make Ready campus.


Reactivating a previously dead/underutilized portion of the block, Make Ready provides commercial space to the small-tenant market segment that currently has limited options in this area of town. It can house startup companies, a two-to six-person office, or a workshop and retail space for a group of artisan makers. Make Ready ensures that companies of all sizes have a place. Now, the campus is full and hosts lively open markets monthly.

Social Capital


ARCHITECT: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

CONTRACTOR: Cord Construction Services

PHOTOGRAPHY: Eric Schmid


Located at the intersection of SW 5th and S Hudson Avenue, this former transmission shop occupies a prominent corner within Oklahoma City’s Core to Shore strategic framework. Its ex­isting utilitarian structure, which has unobstructed views to Scissortail Park, is transformed into a community-focused craft beer hall. Dilapidated elements including the existing roof structure are removed while key elements are retained and refurbished to retain some of the historic character of a district identified for rapid change.


The existing building is clearly organized with a new courtyard serving as the entrance to a multi-level complex offering maximum flexibility and activity along Hudson Avenue. The massing mediates in scale between the current structure and larger-scale developments proposed nearby, while a variety of spaces and seating types create a vibrant and engaging environment. The main bar is the interior focus while micro-kitchens create an active, family-friendly frontage easily accessible from the park. Outdoor amenities are provid­ed by a courtyard, an exterior patio, and a roof terrace whose mirrored canopy soffit reflects the rooftop scene while capitalizing on views towards the park. Generous landscaping at the ground and upper levels ties inside to outside and unites the development with the park.