RMTA was named a Mid America Design Award (MADA) winner Friday night by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), winning silver in the small corporate office category for their work on The Barney Building. MADA is a biennial event that recognizes exceptional quality of interior design work in the Midwest region. Project judging is based on “innovation, functionality and implementation of design through use of materials, color, balance and light, and overall design intent.”

Commercial real estate developer, Karbank Real Estate, approached RMTA to generate design schematics for the 1968 commercial office building. Attracted to the mid-century character of this particular building and its prime location in town, they wanted to re-use the existing structure, transforming the space from Class C to Class A office, and incorporate sustainability practices to achieve LEED certification. The design team at RMTA was charged with maintaining that character while completely renovating and modernizing the 32,000 square foot building.

The design intent of the project centered on layering materials, planes and forms throughout the building. Cyprus slats extend from exterior soffits to interior spaces. Throughout the fourth floor addition interior, spatial planes rarely intersect or collide, rather terminating into reveals; ceiling and wall planes are constructed in sections, revealing exposed steel beams and other structural elements. As an industrial developer, Karbank holds a portfolio of large, industrial buildings.

Throughout the space, the design team created the structural reveals, exposing elements like steel beams, as an homage to the client and heritage of the family business. Complementing the clean, industrial aesthetic of the building materials exposed throughout the office, while adding warmth, was the primary consideration while choosing fixtures and finishes. Furniture choices reinforce the simplicity of the architecture. Geometric cuts in the carpet design match the slit windows and steel beams seen throughout the office, and help give a sense of depth and additional architectural richness to the space.

Rapidly renewable bamboo composite was used on patio decking and custom-designed courtyard benches. Two 65 kW capstone micro-turbine gas generators were installed and act as the building’s primary power source, allowing the building to be taken off the grid entirely. The capstone micro-turbine energy solution is equivalent to that of taking 92 average U.S. passenger vehicles off the road or CO2 reduction from the equivalent of 96 acres of pine or fir forest. LEED Gold certification was awarded in March 2015.