It’s fitting that a design firm that has worked on numerous historic preservation projects would go from a historic warehouse to a historic factory located on the fringe of downtown Oklahoma City. The firm opened for business in its present home exactly 100 years after the former Model-T assembly plant opened for business in 1916. The building is shared with the 21c Museum Hotel and Mary Eddy’s restaurant. The 12,000-square-foot brick and concrete office provides work and meeting space for the growing firm.
Prior to the former manufacturing plant being cleaned out for renovation, ADG was allowed to retrieve any items, slated for demolition, for reuse in the office project. Some of these items are featured as found art objects. The pièce de résistance, is a 100-year-old stencil machine that was used for making stencils to spray-paint wooden shipping containers filled with car parts. The unique stencil font has become ADG’s new logo.
Another repurposed item from the original building is a huge red boiler in the lobby. It is both a conversation starter and its mass anchors the custom quartz, birch and steel reception desk. A non-functioning existing red fire suppression system and its valves/controls was left in place to run above the main traffic axis and create a visual cue.
A large conference room just off the entry features a custom wood, steel and laminate meeting table and a custom birch and drywall acoustic cloud from which sleek LED pendant fixtures light the space.
Three free standing pavilions that function as a meeting space, plot room and marketing department create a visual barrier that separates guest reception space from the studio. Each pavilion is faced with wood slats, a reference to the shipping containers filled with car parts manufactured in the old plant. Two of the pavilions have sliding doors that once were used to cordon off equipment in the building’s mechanical penthouse.
The firm’s new logo has been cut in rusted steel panels that line the corridor leading to the open studio beyond. Additional panels act as frames for monitors that display the firm’s work.
In the open studio, the staff enjoys abundant natural daylight through the large factory windows. Original concrete ceilings are supported by 15-foot-tall concrete columns that were left exposed in the main space. All the original windows were replaced with an energy-efficient windows and steel frames. ADG was able to salvage several of the original steel window systems and adapt them as interior office window walls.
The layers of original peeling paint on the stout concrete columns that punctuate the space are like featured artwork that reveals the industrial history of the place.