The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Commercial Architecture Projects 

Any new build or addition / renovation commercial project below 25,000 sf.

Voting ends at 5pm on Monday, November 15

Reeder's Auto & Tire

ARCHITECT: James Boswell, Architect


PHOTOGRAPHY: Miller Photography

Reeder’s Auto & Tire has been a long-standing cornerstone in Tulsa. Family owned and operating originally under the Texaco banner for 34 years before converting to the Phillips 66 brand, Reeder’s eventually went

independent in 2013 and is currently run by the third generation of the Reeder’s family. There were two primary goals for this remodel. Expand the convenience store side of the business and draw attention to the auto and tire portion. To do this the North and West side of the store were completely reconfigured, devoting more space for the convenience store while opening up a view into the auto service bays. The back of house was also reconfigured to add a small kitchen and more functional storage space. The convenience store has a strong focus “Fresh to Convenience” promoting and selling items from local businesses which delineates it from the competition. Additionally, there was a small tower added on the Northeast corner to draw attention to the service division from the street while also adding a large window between the auto bays and sales floor for additional awareness. Since completion of the project, Reeder’s has seen a substantial increase in both convenience store and auto service sales, the two most important project goals of the owners.

USRI Excelsior Building

ARCHITECT: Selser Schaefer Architects
CONTRACTOR: Lippert Brothers
PHOTOGRAPHY: Simon Hurst Photography

Inspired by the creative and innovative nature of flight, the USRI Excelsior Building is a collaborative hub for the research, design, development, and testing of unmanned aerial systems. Excelsior – which translates to ever upward – captures the movement of liftoff as the building’s sloping roof climbs ever upward toward the entry.

OSU Roger J. Panciera Education Center

ARCHITECT: Rand Elliott Architects
PHOTOGRAPHY: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

Designed as classroom facilities for The College of Veterinary Medicine, the 14,650 SF Roger J. Panciera Education Center includes three 120-seat flexible classrooms, adjacent breakout space, circulation space, restroom facilities and student lounge space both indoors and outdoors.

Sited in an existing 24,000 SF parking lot and service drive surrounded on four sides by the existing college buildings, the project location presented many challenges. The center is tied into the existing building on the north and set 20-feet from the existing buildings on the east, south, and west. This allowed us to maintain required vehicular access on three sides and also allowed us to maximize glazing, bringing ample natural light into this challenging site.

On the interior, high ceilings, clerestory windows, and raised roof monitors were designed to bring natural light into the space. Classrooms were designed to offer a 360° teaching and learning environment. Magnetic glass white boards and 85” monitors wrap the classroom walls allowing faculty to teach from any wall. Two 135” drop down projection screens are located on one wall of each classroom for lessons requiring a traditional lecture style class.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Renovation)

ARCHITECT: Rand Elliott Architects
CONTRACTOR: Smith & Pickel Construction
PHOTOGRAPHY: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios


A venerable Oklahoma City institution, Science Museum Oklahoma is the state’s only hands-on science museum and one of the largest in the nation. With the unveiling of a two-year, multi-million dollar renovation, SMO went from nearly shuttering in the early 2000s to recording its biggest days of attendance in history. The renovation included a new 21,000 SF children’s museum, improved park entrance and parking plan, upgraded building skin, entry, lobby and gift shop.

Originally built in 1978, the existing tilt-up concrete building was hard and uninviting. Stainless steel fins were added to the building exterior, capturing and reflecting the dramatic changes of light. A pedestrian spine creates a formal approach from the parking lot and provides families with a protected space as they travel to the entry. 30’ foot steel columns, SMO branding and a blue polycarbonate canopy create a memorable and clearly identifiable entry.

The lobby is now an expansive, light-filled space and includes a new roof skylight. A wood structure was inserted into the existing precast concrete building, softening and bringing warmth to the space. Insulated glass on the north wall includes vertical wood inserts for sun protection and to add texture to the space.


ARCHITECT: Rand Elliott Architects
CONTRACTOR: Downey Contracting
PHOTOGRAPHY: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios

The architectural concept for the structures at RIVERSPORT Rapids is consistent with the existing Boathouse District aesthetic, while still maintaining a uniqueness related to their purpose and function. Modern forms with an angular vocabulary create an iconic series of structures in this highly visible urban context. The forms and materials hint at the duality of the transparency and reflectivity of the adjacent water and its swift movement. The expression and position of the structures create a distinctive experience that seamlessly facilitates the flow of users to the many functional areas of the site.

Iron Gate

ARCHITECT: GH2 Architects


PHOTOGRAPHY: Susan Rainey, Yellow Dog Design Works

Iron Gate, a soup kitchen and grocery pantry located in downtown Tulsa, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding the hungry of Tulsa. GH2 designed their new 15,556 square foot, $5 million facility, located on Archer, west of the Tulsa Arts District, with their driving philosophy in mind: We are all guests on this earth and guests treat one another with courtesy, kindness and respect. Three offices within Iron Gate are dedicated to partner agencies such as Family & Children’s Services and others, to provide general resource referrals and education. GH2 integrated the healing garden into the courtyard space. Placing the healing garden in the center/heart of the project reflects IronGate’s commitment to inviting those in need into a safe, non-judgmental space where they can find comfort and rest, making Iron Gate a true place of healing.

UCO Hamilton North

ARCHITECT: Studio Architecture

CONTRACTOR: JE Dunn Construction

PHOTOGRAPHY: Simon Hurst Photography

The Hamilton Field House Annex provides a much-needed upgrade to UCO’s existing sixty-year-old facility. Having recently relocated the football locker room to another building, this space was renovated into fresh, top-of-the-line locker rooms for the women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, and tennis teams.

Over 15,000 square feet of new space was added, providing practice basketball and volleyball courts and one of the largest wrestling venues in the state. The wrestling room contains four wrestling mats in a 96-foot-wide column-free space flooded with natural light from continuous clerestory windows. The practice courts contain six retractable basketball goals and three retractable volleyball nets.

The main entrance is accentuated by a yellow perforated aluminum architectural screen wall that provides an iconic BRONCHOS sign while filtering light into the lobby.

Scissortail Park Café

ARCHITECT: Butzer Architects and Urbanism

CONTRACTOR: Downey Contracting

PHOTOGRAPHY: Timothy Hursley

The architecture and landscape architecture of Scissortail Park represent a return to the early landscapes leading up to the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run. Pre-statehood native grasses, plants, and trees are reintroduced alongside water features and around land formations that evoke the cuestas of the Pre-Cambrian Arbuckle Mountains in southern Oklahoma.

The tectonics of the architecture are inspired by the natural frames and coverings used in Native Tribes’ shelters. These serve as a form of acknowledgment that this park is built on lands of the Numunuu (Comanche), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Gáuigú (Kiowa), 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 𐒼𐓂𐓊𐒻 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^ (Osage), and Wichita tribes. Steel, wood, and glass become the contemporary palette for this skeleton/skin dialectic.

Earthen structures of early Western settlers are the historical source for the brick that rises to meet the lightweight canopies. The brick colors and patterns evoke the coyote, gray wolf, and deer, and help camouflage the park architecture amidst the regionally inspired landscapes.

An empathy for land and people can be witnessed through systems that reduce energy use, leverage the efficiencies of recycled steel, collect rainwater to replenish the riparian zones of Scissortail Lake, create bountiful canopies and lattice for shade, protection, prospect and refuge, and reduce under-canopy windspeeds for improved user comfort.

The 360-degree organizations of Scissortail Park Café and its fellow park pavilions engage people from diverse backgrounds, lifestyles, and all directions. As their z-axis, the red lantern of Scissortail Park Café recalls the warning of fires in the 1889 landscape, and anchors today’s hope for this reemerging multicultural community.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation 

John D. Groendyke Building

ARCHITECT: Beck Design


PHOTOGRAPHY: Simon Hurst Photography

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation project was a $16M renovation and addition, completely funded by proceeds made from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, not by taxpayers.

The original building served the Wildlife Department for nearly 50 years without any notable renovation. The original building, a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design, served as inspiration for the new addition. The existing structure of 23,000 SF was completely stripped of all interior components leaving only the structural frame and the roof. It was then retro-fitted with new mechanical, electrical, IT and security systems.

A new 12,000 SF addition was built; expanding the building to the west and north, introducing natural light to the interior of the building. Outdoor balconies were included to provide new vistas of downtown Oklahoma City and the State Capitol. The new addition houses offices, a conference room that cantilevers into the grand lobby, auditorium, front entrance and grand lobby with an elaborate wildlife diorama and interactive kiosks. This interactive element provided opportunities for conservation education for the next generation of hunters and anglers. An on-site warehouse provides convenience for shipping and receiving.

The new Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters emulates the great State of Oklahoma with interior design features such as: intricate stone waves that splash across the board room walls representing movement of a waterfall, natural light filling open space through the lofty atrium where custom- made felt tree benches glow, and a duck blind that serves as the purchasing desk for licensing and permits.


ARCHITECT: Fitzsimmons Architects

CONTRACTOR: Modus Construction

PHOTOGRAPHY: Justin Miers Photography

Named and inspired by the iconoclastic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, Frida Southwest is a 5,000-sf restaurant featuring sunlit dining spaces connected to sheltered outdoor patios, integrated with a separate craft-cocktail bar and patio, known as The Daley. The design reverberates Frida’s life, whose work depicts her dreams and her pain within the context of Mexican culture and traditions.

As a gateway to Oklahoma City's bohemian Paseo District, Frida’s ubiety activates this once silent corner, addressing the curvilinear street with complementary arcade walls, organically transitioning from Walker Avenue to Paseo. The facade harmonizes with the historic Spanish-style district, incorporating major elements of the Spanish Revival style by way of the featured stucco arcade creating the entry and outdoor dining spaces. The arcade is broken by a rail that penetrates the facade, symbolically echoing Frida's broken back expressed in her life and paintings. Patinaed weathering steel walls and trellis balance the open arcade, highlighting the earthy and bright orange/brown rust undertones. Large clear windows illuminate the space with blue-colored glass, limited to artistic accents within the bar areas. Wood details provide warmth to the dining spaces with aesthetic accent tiles enhancing the energy within the space.

Solo's Park and Pub

ARCHITECT: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

CONTRACTOR: Smith & Pickel Construction


Solo’s Park and Pub is a restaurant and dog park located in Chisholm Creek, northern Oklahoma City.

The restaurant building has been designed as a box within a box, with a large open air structure surrounding the restaurant ‘box’ within. The outer layer is constructed from pre-engineered steel components painted a bright red. It creates a sheltered terrace for owners and their pets, and ensures Red Solo Pup is enjoyable all year round, despite Oklahoma’s harsh seasons.

Like its outer shell, the inner restaurant building is clad in corrugated metal, though here it is painted a complementary pink. This inner building houses the dining area, kitchen and services, which are separated from the dog-accessible areas.

The building’s raised position and generous planting to the front of the site partially conceal the park to the rear, so that the space is revealed upon entering the restaurant. In keeping with the building’s industrial aesthetic, recycled oil drilling poles are repurposed as lampposts, and concrete pipes are used as planters around the lushly planted landscaping.