The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Small Commercial Architecture Projects

Alliance Steel, Inc. | Architect: Rand Elliott Architects

Photography: Rand Elliott, FAIA


For the Alliance Steel’s headquarters, we saw an opportunity to put metal buildings in a new light. What emerged was a distinctive and economical building – a showcase for the many ways to imagine steel systems and bring them to life. Sitting back 650’ from the street, a dynamic steel sculptural was used to bring attention to the front door. The form illustrates lightness, drama, strength, and the beauty of steel detailing. The 10,009 SF addition is added to a 32,590 SF existing metal building that functions as part office space and part steel fabrication. Overlapping finger-joints connect the new addition to the existing structure, articulating the relationship to one another. Window heights mimic the existing facility and metal panel detailing shows the “honesty” of materials. The addition includes a guest reception area, office space, conference room, and a kitchen/break room. The interior reimagines standard metal building materials. A variety of metal panels – corrugated and smooth -- became walls and stairs, adding texture ranging from bold to delicate. Perforation allows them to filter sunlight, creating transparency and interest. Our goal was to make the interior space fresh, crisp, and bright by combining metal and light.


AMC Mortgage Headquarters | 

Architect: TODD Architecture Group

Photography by: Whit Todd


The client identified project goals that included: the desire to create a signature building; create an economic design with economic materials; and create an interior environment reflective of their office culture. The majority of the office work areas are open office environments, using WorkCafe style furniture. Over 60% of the employee work stations incorporate lounge style aesthetics, but each area is wired for business. The third-floor training room seats 40 and has a large duel screen, hi definition projection system. The third-floor pre-function space has four large overhead glass garage style doors that brings the outdoors into the space – which has become the most popular work stations in the building. Situated along one of Tulsa’s busy arterial streets, the building’s street facade was of major importance to the client. TODD Architecture Group worked out several design options for the client to review before this option was selected. It is a three story 21,000 square foot corporate headquarters that incorporates open office areas, an employee fitness facility, training room, and an indoor/outdoor pre-function space adjacent to a large employee break area and lounge.


Blake Bush Eye Care | Architect: SDG Architects

Photography by: Jonathan Burkhart


SDG worked with Blake Bush to renovate a historic building in downtown Ardmore. The new space houses a full-service eye clinic and eyewear showroom with an urban boutique atmosphere. The custom designed eyewear display units were created to act as an anchor for the large showroom and provide storage space. Welded steel columns with mirror and frosted glass panels have a back lighting feature that creates an overall glow to the units and highlights the eyewear on display, while still allowing visitors to try on the frames and shop as if in a high end eyewear boutique. Blake really loved the idea of allowing clients to see how they work, so large interior glass windows were installed at the Lab to allow for transparency of the practice. Historic masonry, murals, and refinished wood floors reinforce the urban warehouse aesthetic of the building, while also respecting the historic elements. The facade was repainted, and the historic storefront was reconstructed to give it a fresh look without compromising the important historic design features. The floorplan was centered around the original skylight to provide natural lighting. The skylight is the highlight of the common area as it’s visible from every angle.


Shawnee Tribal Center | Architect: FSB Architects & Engineers

Photography by: Simon Hurst


The Shawnee Tribe selected our team to help co-create their dream — a new tribal heritage center which would become “a place that provides an opportunity for the Shawnee People to tell our story, in our own words, to tribal members, the local community and visitors.” To kick-start the project, our team conducted an interactive workshop with key members of the Shawnee Tribe to obtain a broad outline and vision, encompassing the desired elements of the Heritage Center and the important symbolism to include in the design. Additional workshops and conversations with Shawnee leaders further coalesced the Tribe’s wishes for its new facility. The Heritage Center features a gallery and exhibit area, large and small viewing rooms, a catering kitchen, a gift shop, classrooms and administrative spaces, as well as areas for storing and preserving artifacts. In keeping with Shawnee tradition, visitor traffic flow through the Center will be counter-clockwise. Conveniently located just south of the Missouri-Kansas border and adjacent to a State of Oklahoma Welcome Center, visitors can park and easily visit the Heritage Center without paying to exit the turnpike.


Jackson Technical | Architect: The McIntosh Group

Photography by:Melissa Lukenbaugh


A new headquarters for a technology services firm in downtown Tulsa; an innovative and leading technology services firm led by a young, hard-working and ebullient couple needed a new home that could enable them to grow their core services and expand into new areas, including coding, training and server capacity out sourcing. They didn't just want a building; they wanted a home that fit their culture and ambition. The client’s one directive: “Design a building that captures our culture…relaxed, welcoming, high tech.” The solution centered on a concept that everyone was intimately familiar with – the data server rack. Using this concept, interior spaces were created that were open, connected and full of energy. The team explored pushing the data servers further in or out of the rack. The result – exterior terraces and bay windows that give the building visual interest. Inside, the buildings inner workings were put on display – exposing the pipes, wires and ductwork to reflect the tech culture.