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Terrex & Messer Construction, Uptown Gateway Office Building

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Cincinnati, OH | 330,000SF

The front door to Cincinnati’s Uptown neighborhood and its many academic and research institutions, the buildings populating the Cincinnati Innovation District need to express the technological innovation and creativity taking place within.
The Innovation Office Building sits at the entry to the Uptown innovation district.

But technology and architecture move at different speeds. What was cutting edge at the groundbreaking will appear mainstream—even archaic—in ten or twenty years. So, how does a building express technological innovation without dating itself?

Echoing the look and strategy of the building façade, the part of the garage that peaks above grade is veiled by a screen of metal fins.
The simple assembly of metal fins gain complexity as they are twisted in or pushed out to spell out messages in binary code.

This new office building within the Uptown Gateway development responds to this challenge by exploring the concept of creativity itself. Whether you think of Steve Jobs in his garage or kids at Christmas, who promptly discard the latest gadget to play in the box it came in, people are often their most creative when they have the least. Drawing on this experience, the building embraces simplicity.

Play the video to see how the façade changes with the light of the day.

A simple box with a single fold: its mass shifts at the third floor to share the sun with its neighbor (University of Cincinnati’s Digital Futures Building) while also letting light fill the pocket park between the two. Distinguished from the illuminated, white fins of its neighbor’s façade, the building adapts a simple, black metal panel system to generate impressive visual complexity. Unlit, the black panels shift to white, silver, and gold as they’re transformed by the light of the sun, ensuring pedestrians never have the same view twice.

In contrast to its neighbor, the building features a black metal panel system.
Material and massing strategies work in concert with its surroundings.

With parking tucked under the Uptown Gateway development, space is opened on site for inviting public interactions. While the pocket park between this building and Digital Futures fosters informal connections between researchers, a larger plaza hosts public events, connecting to the neighborhood and the ecological corridor that runs through the site.

Uptown Gateway’s large plaza will allow workers and neighbors to gather for festivals, concerts, and other public events.