The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Interior Architecture Projects

Architect Studio | Architect: TODD Architecture Group

Photography by: Whit Todd

TODD Architect Group moved their office into an interior space they helped create years earlier. The Brook Movie Theater was repurposed by the architect in 1995 - to create more leasable space, a second floor was added in the former auditorium. In 2019, the architect returned, as a tenant, to create their new studio space. Deep trusses that once spanned over the auditorium now intersect the space and limit the circulation paths. The new floor plan organizes the studio by exploiting the location of the trusses and the spaces they create. The trusses were left exposed and are organizing elements for the new studio. The conference room floats between the large trusses and provides a central location for client meetings as well as in-house collaboration. A central skylight in the studio provides filtered light to the conference room through a frosted glass wall that separates the studio from the conference room. The whiteness of the space helps accentuate the structure and highlights the subtle “grey on grey” shadows of the structural elements and provides the only ornamentation within the studio. The reception desk is constructed with rusted plate steel and provides the only other color in the entire studio.

Oso on Paseo | Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 

Photography by: Tim Soar

Oso on Paseo is the newest addition to the thriving arts community of the Paseo District in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Located at the main entrance to a popular mixed commercial complex, the new architectural pergola frames and activates the patio space with shade for pedestrians to enjoy year round. Designed with every square inch in mind, Oso has maximized its end use 5 times that of neighboring restaurants. Up close detailing and a walkable urban feel are essential to the design with visual connections to the Paseo from every seat. At night, Oso has become a beacon to the district. Large windows are filled to the brim with energy that spills out into the surrounding area. Inside the restaurant, the central bar is the main focus. Constructed out of white bricks, exposed core holes create a veil and add a play of light and depth to the bar. Oso’s material palette echoes the craft food concept with dark patinaed steel shelving, white-washed ceiling rafters, and handcrafted plywood details. Blue encaustic floor tiles line the bar area while the chosen color is repeated again in furniture and in the restrooms that feature blue-grouted tile.

The Kitchen at Commonplace | Architect: Gardner Architects

Photography by: Ely Fair

In just one short year, Commonplace had already distinguished itself as a pioneer in the new urban retail scene with its focus on the patron experience, curated selection, and design aesthetic. As they established themselves as the “Living Room” of the community they considered how they might expand the experience of hospitality through food and beverage service which led to The Kitchen at Commonplace, a 23- seat café with form and function that much more closely resemble that of a domestic home than a commercial restaurant. With the limited space of 1,050 square feet and humble construction budget of $110 psf we accepted the challenge to both design and step into the build and fabrication role as well.

Cross Neighborhood Interiors | 

Architect: ClarkNexsen and Studio Architecture

Photography by: Simon Hurst Photography

Cross Neighborhood is the University of Oklahoma’s newest mixed-use residential community. The complex will house over 1,200 students in four buildings featuring suite-style rooms. Additionally, Cross Neighborhood contains numerous amenities - including multiple dining venues, retail, a medical clinic, creative spaces, a salon, and workout facilities - designed to combine all aspects of student living into one communal student village. Each building in the complex will be a distinct residential college that continues the University’s commitment to provide students with a quality living-learning environment with a faculty-in-residence. A “den” adjacent to each faculty apartment provides a common space for students and faculty to gather and interact. The student amenities at Cross Neighborhood are unique on campus and further enhance the quality of student life. A selection of nine dining venues, two retail shops, a black box theater, a maker space, a medical clinic, and two workout facilities make this a uniquely mixed-use community on campus to appeal to the modern student. Between the many dining options, commercial amenities, and various indoor and outdoor features that create the spontaneous interactions of campus life, this complex is more than an apartment building - it is a lifestyle center.

Society | Architect: Selser Schaefer Architects

Photography by: Ashley Mckinney Photography

Identity, Community, Brand, and Burgers.

This new restaurant space is a complete transformation of a vacant suburban shopping center tenant space. Through close collaboration with the owner, a new dining experience was crafted that not only offers innovative burger concoctions and local brews, but more importantly a people-focused social experience unlike any other in the area. The project was designed around a simple set of goals: Create a unique sense of Identity and Community through strong Design, Branding, and eccentric food offerings. The existing building’s mission-style vocabulary is merged with the owners more industrially flavored brand to create a visual fusion as uncommon and quirky as the burgers they serve. Space is layered with a variety of seating arrangements and dining surface heights. A sophisticated mix of colors and materials come together in a surprisingly casual and welcoming way. Warm cedar wood planks utilized both indoors and out enhance continuity and contribute to the richness of the space. The interior planning is based on a simple parti: the centralized bar acts as an organizing datum, a node, that directs all movement throughout the restaurant, interior and exterior alike.

St. Vitus | Architect: KKT Architects

Photography by: Adam Murphy

St. Vitus is designed around a strong thematic narrative: in a hypothetical post-apocalyptic future, crumbling edifices of the past are being reborn. The 2000 SF club represents an abandoned church converted into a dance club. Its cathedral-like layout features an altar-inspired bar facing east, an elevated pulpit-inspired DJ booth juxtaposed to the bar, and pew-like seating. Catholic motifs are expressed in metal details recalling confessional screens, ceiling murals, and back-lit Romanesque mirrors around the perimeter. Religious iconography includes faux stained-glass windows framing the DJ booth and even the club’s namesake: St. Vitus, the patron saint of dance. The palette is informed by the Vaporwave aesthetic which celebrates the synergy between music and art. Acoustically responsive LED dance floor lighting color-changes, chases, pulses, brightens, and dims. The gender-neutral restroom configuration—a first for Tulsa—fulfilled our client’s vision of one room with separate toilet rooms and shared sinks to use limited space most equitably and efficiently. We researched how other cities under the same code allowed similar design and advocated for this configuration with the City of Tulsa, ultimately securing approval for the design.

TMA Systems | Architect: KKT Architects

Photography by: Adam Murphy

KKT converted this 20,000 SF space from retail to offices for a growing software company. A clean, classic industrial aesthetic celebrates the integrity of the building. Lintels, fasteners, and steel beams are exposed. Red brick offsets the neutral concrete and stone elements. Wood ceiling details add warmth. Several windows added to the exterior walls along with glass-fronted interior offices allow natural light to infiltrate the deep, boxy space. The break room is divided from a flexible collaboration area with a glass overhead door which can be opened to create a larger area. Circular accent lighting gives passers-by a glimpse into the business that now occupies the long-abandoned space.

Hotel Indigo | Architect: GH2 Architects

Photography by: Susan Rainey, Yellow Dog Design Works

Rising from the Blue Dome District like an oil derrick on the prairie is a six-story boutique hotel offering homage to Tulsa’s iconic past with a contemporary, playful twist referencing Tulsa’s Blue Dome District of today. As the District’s tallest building, this 93-key hotel pays tribute to Tulsa’s original spirit, the American rustic resolve and the area’s recent reinvigoration. Featuring rustic brick, concrete and steel finishes, the hotel references the area’s warehouse district history, while subtle lines give a nod to the city as one of the world’s finest Art Deco centers.Reclaimed oil drum lids add whimsy to the sixth floor’s ceiling that leads to a rooftop bar and outdoor patio. The bar and sixth-floor balconies offer guests unique views of the city’s downtown. A full-service restaurant and fitness center add convenience for guests, while first-floor public spaces feature a curated art installation from Tulsa’s rich oil history. Rustic finishes reference the oil town’s history and modern accents reflect the area’s contemporary, artsy character. Representing Tulsa’s past with flavors of the future, this hotel reflects the next wave of Tulsa’s cultural pioneers and offers spaces that invite not only tourists but locals to enjoy.

Scottie's Deli | Architect: Inter-Projects Architecture

Photography by: Bilyana Dimitrova

Scottie’s Deli is located on the ground floor, adjacent to the original lobby of the Tower Theater. This 1930’s theater was among the first suburban theaters in the city and is located along the original part of Route 66. Although delis originated in Germany, they became highly popular in the US and during the 1930’s the deli was at it’s height of popularity in the US. The project owner had a few photos of old Delis and his grandmother’s recipes as a source of inspiration to him in becoming a restaurateur. We wondered how we could use this history of imagery, the site and the tradition of American delis to create a building material. As a tenant build out, our project comes with budget constraints which we leveraged into opportunity by focusing the project design on the ceiling of the dining room. The main feature of the design, a surface mosaic, was a product of our firm’s ongoing research into the application of technology to an architectural problem. Apart from the iconic food served at delis, delis also have iconic signage.

Health Center | Architect: Inter-Projects Architecture 

Photography by: Bilyana Dimitrova  

The design for the Health Center creates a welcoming space for patients along 23rd Street in the uptown area of Oklahoma City. This recently revitalized street features new restaurants, commercial spaces and office space. The area is centrally located in Oklahoma City allowing for patient access by bus, bike or car. The heath center is an 11,000 sf gut renovation of a 1960s building and includes both health care spaces and business administration spaces. The welcoming and modern atmosphere in the health center waiting room is created by illuminating the ceiling with half domes, enveloping the space with curved surfaces, and using light colored wood finishes. This atmosphere is carried on throughout the health center with the use of bright colors, well lit spaces and light colored wood grained finishes. The atmosphere is important in providing a calming environment to patients and reflecting the high quality health care that the center offers. The space creates a sense of dignity for patients. The business administration space also creates a welcoming atmosphere for guests and hosts a collaborative environment for staff. The open office space and two conference rooms center around a break room that encourages conversation and collaboration.

Mercy Hospital Ada | Architect: REES

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography

Mercy wanted to improve their patients’ experience and expand their waiting room to accommodate growth. REES designed a 6,100-square-foot renovation and expansion providing a reception desk, gift shop, larger waiting area and admitting area. The new layout provides an impactful first impression to guests while offering convenience and privacy during the admission process. The new front entrance flows in to a bright and welcoming admitting area with easy access to patient services. With the inclusion of natural light and calming colors, the space feels open and warm to patients and visitors. In addition, the chapel was relocated to a more accessible and prominent location near the waiting room to increase visibility and use. The once small and cluttered gift shop was transformed to become a bright display area for gift offerings. Phlebotomy labs and X-Ray rooms were placed closer to the admitting area, streamlining the admission process. This small space was reimagined to make a big impact for the hospital and guests.

BP Lower 48 | Architect: Fitzsimmons Architects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography

This client wanted their offices to reflect the changing climate of their company. They wanted to attract a younger professional workforce with a non-corporate atmosphere that was unlike anything they had worked in before – not stuffy and slick. The goal was to create a showpiece that is comfortable to be in and a place that respects the patina and history of the building. Security was also a priority. A plan was launched to balance the inherent conflict of the small office environment vs. privacy. The new offices are located within the first and second floors of a historic building with prominent features including an operable overhead door and a large concrete automotive ramp. The ramp was repurposed to become a main processional stair with break-out meeting platforms. Glass walls, rough-sawn wood and raw steel come together to create a modern yet intimate workplace.

Canaan | Architect: Fitzsimmons Architects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography

This new office is located within the 2nd and 3rd floors of a downtown historic warehouse. The space includes exposed concrete columns, beams, and brick walls. The 3rd floor was connected to the 2nd floor with a new internal stair. The client’s IT needs were extensive, necessitating large pathways to link every space to the robust server room. The triangular arrangement provides a dynamic flow connecting the team pods within the space while directing internal views. A feature wall provides a pathway for copious amounts of mechanical and electrical systems, allowing the historic structure/walls to be exposed for a clean and uncluttered space. The perimeter millwork conceals the HVAC system. Glass walls and interior clerestories are utilized to maximize natural light deep into the space. The color palette was kept simple and clean to showcase the historic structure.

Fulmer | Architect: Fitzsimmons Architects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography

Like their slogan, “Not your grandfather’s law firm,” the preconceived notions of a traditional law firm are shattered the moment one sets foot in the space. Vaulted ceilings, clean white walls, and combinations of glass, stone, brick, and wood immerse visitors into an understated yet very modern office interior. The program of the suite is unique in its response to the status quo of the law profession. It articulates the firm's unique attitude and identity through the incorporation of contemporary art and openness. The firm has done away with individual private offices and opted for a more collaborative and conversational layout in which clients engage with the team in various transparent conference rooms or break-out areas throughout. This client-centered design approach ensures that the spaces are constantly active throughout the day.

Sidecar | Architect: Fitzsimmons Architects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography

A popular Midtown neighborhood bar is strategically inserted into 750 square feet of an off-alley corner of the historic Pontiac building. Although the bar has a front door, most of the year, the original overhead door is open, inviting patrons to belly up to the indoor bar while creating an open-air area with seating elevated from the adjacent street. The interior boasts a juxtaposition of raw wood with the industrial aesthetic of the building. Black oxide metal finishes are used on all steel components, including the space-saving overhead wine racks accessed by a rolling ladder, and the edge-lit shelving at the bar-back. A wooden bar top of 3” walnut butcher block, leather seating, dark wood cocktail tables and dim lighting all work together to create a cozy atmosphere within an industrial space with abundant patina on the existing surfaces. When working within such a small space and within the parameters of various city and safety codes, every inch must be well-planned. A minimal kitchen is tucked into the space under an existing concrete stair to the second floor of the building. Shelving above bar equipment provides the storage necessary for the staff to keep things running smoothly.

Shingled Memory | Architect: University of Oklahoma Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Photography by: Marcin Dabrowski

Shingled Memory is the response from an academic seminar course to the question of “Freespace” presented at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy. The arching construct specifically engages the exhibition’s narrative; “Freespace encompasses freedom to imagine, the free space of time and memory, binding past, present and future together, building on inherited cultural layers, weaving the archaic with the contemporary.” “Do not try to remember”, architecture professor Bruce Goff implored his students. Goff encouraged students to master the histories of Western and non-Western cultures as the instructor of the curriculum’s history sequence. Be inclusive in your conceptualizing, he suggested, but then leave history by the door when you design for the new. “Do not try to remember” is the inspiration for the exhibit that unfolds the rich history of The American School’s architecture program. Designed and fabricated by undergraduate and graduate students with three faculty in the Spring 2018 semester, the design highlights built works of American School alumni whose designs were contextual, resourceful, and experimental. The selected projects help highlight the program’s contributions to the pedagogy and practice of architecture in America which elevated social engagement, environmental sustainability, and design-build culture through what is today known as the American School of Architecture.

MAP Room | Architect: hoffnerdesignstudio

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography

Inside a Solomon Layton designed building known for its proximity to the Oklahoma City bombing, the project creates a "secret" meeting space, recalling the building's origins as a Masonic Temple. The story is told with historic photos, a rugged material palette and Masonic symbols in the form of vintage tools. Meet (level), Act (plumb bob), and Part (square) represent the sequence of a Masons meeting. These dramatically lit vintage tools on a salvaged limestone backdrop beckon from the elevator lobby and lead you to a custom fabricated steel door unseen from the lobby. As you pull open the custom, leather-wrapped steel handle, you are likely unaware of the hidden door knocker built into the handle. However, if you are in the company of someone “in the know,” they can explain to you the significance of this, and the tools. Inside the room, shared by the building tenants, are custom designed tables and a movable "sofa cart;" suspended lighting; and comfortable leather seating specified for the project. The dramatic lighting; unexplained tools presented as art; the history of the Masonic Temple's financial ruin and a dark, rich, natural color palette reinforce a feeling of being in a secret place.