Cummins to pick from New York firms to design downtown offices

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Cummins Inc. plans to pick a proposal from one of three New York-based architecture firms vying to design its global distribution headquarters downtown.

The $30 million project, slated for four acres of the former home of Market Square Arena, calls for office space for up to 400 Cummins employees, ground-floor retail, a parking garage and green space.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that it will pick from among proposals submitted by Deborah Berke Partners, SHoP Architects, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

The companies are charged with bringing "a world-class architectural element to downtown Indianapolis." Cummins plans to unveil the winning proposal in September.

The company in March announced it planned to build the project south of a mixed-use development by Flaherty & Collins Properties. The firm's headquarters remains in Columbus.


  • LOL
    What is with the Artistry bashing? And what does it have to do with this article other than it will be located next door? The Artistry, if you've ever even actually visited, is quite a project. Of course, if all you do is complain with no knowledge of what you speak, you wouldn't know any better. Back on TOPIC.... I'm excited to see what these three firms come up with! If retail and parking are specified as part of the project, I can see this reaching 8-10 stories, easily.
  • Thanks Cummins!
    Great group of architects Cummins! Really pushing for the Tod Williams Billie Tsien proposal as they are true masters of modern architecture. I'm sure SHoP will have an intriguing option though, as they are certainly the most progressive of the firms announced. Deborah Berke's work is nice, but really not stand-out from what I've seen. Could be surprised here though.
  • Not entirely our fault.
    I personally applaud Cummins for choosing these world class firms to compete for their project. However, I would also like to state that far too often the architects are blamed for the design atrocities in our city. I know many architects who personally abhor the buildings they are forced into drawing by their clients and community groups. Take the Axis fire station project for example, the first client and city led version was awful, the architect led version is quite nice. In general, world class projects are led by their budgets not by the talent level of their architect. Give local architects a chance.
  • 2 out of 3
    I personally think the SHoP and Tod Williams Billie Tsien groups are far superior than the third option. I agree height doesn't always have to play into the equation, and for Cummins needs this probably will be in the 4-7 range. I would like to see 3-5 more high rises (500 feet or higher) in the future to get our skyline up to par.
  • Yes
    Great move Cummins. The local architecture community needs a little motivation and we are anxiously awaiting a world class design. And great to have a competitive process. Thank you.
  • great group of architects
    Kudos to Cummins. This is a great group of architects. Personally, I hope it is Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. I was recently in Philadelphia and visited their building that houses the Barnes Foundation. Great building with wonderful street presence and design. Go Cummins!
  • Artistry ugly is growing
    Good look Cummins with your design. It will not be easy to overcome the growing Artistry moving your way. I AM SURE YOU WON'T BUILD OUT OF CEMENT BOARD AND ALUMINUM SIDNIG.
  • Height?
    Height has nothing to do with the ability of a building to be World Class. Taller does not always mean better.
  • Huzzah
    I'm really excited by this. Just looking at all three firm's portfolios, it looks like this will really raise the bar on architecture downtown.
  • height
    I agree that I would have liked a taller building, I would rather have a short world-class building than a tall boring tower designed by Ratio.
  • "World Class" but 5 stories?
    Weren't the last reports that the building would be comically short? How is a world class Fortune 100 building going to be 5 stories tall and next to the City-County Building and Artistry (the single ugliest apartment in the city)?
  • Thank you Cummins!!!
    Thanks you Cummins for not selecting one of the mediocre local architectural firms for this building. I can't wait for some world class architecture in this city!

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.