What's New

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a productive and safe 2017.

The staff of Brenner Design would like to invite all our Clients and prospective Clients to reflect on notable events over the past year. As we look forward, we hope everyone will be humble, kind and fair in both business and in personal relationships.  For this New Year’s we celebrate being a part of a vibrant Indianapolis community.

Here are some of the things that impacted our firm on a positive note:

Politics:  Governor Pence is now Vice President Elect. Eric Holcomb is Governor Elect. Suzanne Crouch is Lt. Governor Elect. Hoosiers rock!   

Community Service:  In association with Woman’s Life Chapter 611, we helped raise over $25,000 for local charities and neighbors in need. Mickey’s Camp for Women celebrated 10 years of philanthropy in our own community.

Sports:  Our good friend Tamika Catchings retired from the Fever.  The Indianapolis Colts almost made the playoffs. Our Indiana University Football Team made a bowl game!

New Clients:  This year we were privileged to add TWG Development, The City of Southport, Holladay Corporation, Operations Intelligence Center, FoxConn, and Monon Food Company to our list of successful clients.

Notable Event:  Grand Opening of the Ball State University Football Complex in Muncie, IN.  This is the first building designed by a female architect, (Diana M.H. Brenner, FAIA) on the BSU campus.

Family and Friends:  We’d like to remember some of our favorite people that we said goodbye to in 2016 and we respectfully recognize them for their love, humanity, talent and legacy:

Frances Ann Brenner
Alice Mae Hewlett
Sally Shock Wurster

Senator John Glenn
Florence Henderson
Arnold Palmer
Carrie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds

Thanks to all our Clients old and new, we hope to continue to serve you in 2017 and beyond with integrity, honesty and excellent service.

Local Architecture Firm Wins CSI Award

For Immediate Release

Diana M.H. Brenner, FAIA IIDA President of  Brenner Design, was presented with a recognition award at the Annual Indianapolis Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Trade Show for her firm’s dedication and service to the Indianapolis Construction Industry.

Each year CSI selects the best architects who they believe protect architectural specifications and go above and beyond the call of duty.  Brenner Design was one of 22 selected for this award out of 104 nominations.

David Young, AIA, CSI, Director of Architecture at Brenner Design, has been a CSI member for 19 years. Young oversees preparation of specifications for Brenner Design. “David’s work holds the construction industry accountable for adherence to specifications and local building codes,” said Ken Scmidt, CSI award coordinator.

Brenner Design is an award-winning firm involved in the design and construction of innovative buildings, interior spaces, and livable communities. 

Find more information about Brenner Design on their website, www.brennerdesign.com or contact: Bo Hancock (bhancock@brennerdesign.com, p. 317-262-1220, c. 317-640-7389).

Brenner Design Announces WBENC Certification

For Immediate Release

Brenner Design has received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

“We are proud to count Brenner Design as one of the 11,500 certified WBEs in the U.S.,” said Michelle Richards, president of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. 

WBENC’s national standard of third party certification is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and a site inspection. According to WBENC, by including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

“We are pleased to receive this important certification by WBENC and we are honored to be a part of this great organization that promotes and fosters growth for women-owned businesses,” said Diana Brenner, President and sole owner of Brenner Design Incorporated.

Founded in 1992, Brenner Design is an award-winning architectural firm providing tailored services in each of the following areas: Architecture, Interior Design and Construction Management.  Brenner Design also provides Furniture Management Services to organize, manage and implement FF&E procurement process.  In 2016, the firm launched spaceFIT, an online tool that streamlines the tenant development space-planning process.  Brenner Design works with national corporations, higher education institutions, government agencies and private sector clients. 

What Millennials Really Want

1st-Fireplace-72dpi

Sometimes it’s hard to second guess millennials. When it comes to design, Brenner Design was spot on with their interior design of the new Homewood Suites Hotel in Munster, Indiana.

The owner, General Hotels Corporation, put a new challenge in front of the Brenner Design team. They wanted to attract millennials, singles, business people and families by providing a contemporary, connected interior that had all the comforts of home, but better. The designers’ concept was to provide inviting common area spaces for events like weddings, family reunions and parties where guests could take selfies and group shots in front of attractive backdrops.

The hotel also offers internet access, business center and workout facilities inside and out.  There are even outdoor front and back porch seating areas.

This Hilton brand provided design guidelines for the Hilton “Take Flight” concept that is essentially a custom boutique venue.  The final design was at the designer’s discretion, but all selections had to be approved by the Hilton corporate design staff.

Brenner ‘s interior design team selected interior finishes and materials that created a cohesive design, one filled with a variety of textures and colors. Stone tile veneer similar to the exterior stone was brought into the interior. Dark wood trim and wood furnishing help create a comfortable feel. The design utilizes sustainable design materials. The fairly neutral palette is accented with pops of color from furniture fabrics and artwork. Unique light fixtures were used to provide ambience along with energy efficiency.

The design team carefully selected the interior accessories to provide the finishing touches and create the upscale feel. The space includes commissioned art pieces highlighted by a flock of metallic butterflies in flight, reinforcing the Hilton “Take Flight” theme.

The successful outcome of the design is evident in the high occupancy rate since the opening in May 2016. The hotel has consistently sold out and has received outstanding accolades from customers and a 4.5-5.0 star rating on Trip Advisor.

Some of guests’ comments include:

“Best Stay Ever!”

“My family stayed at the Homewood Suites in Munster, IN for our family reunion weekend. This hotel is beautifully decorated in contemporary style. I would love to get in touch with the interior designer for contemporary ideas for my home. There was so much in this hotel that I absolutely loved. Everyone at the hotel was very pleasant and helpful, the hotel overall and the rooms were comfortable and clean, and the breakfast was delicious! Although home is not far, I will definitely stay here again!”

“Overnight Stop”

“WOW! This place is swanky, clean, loaded, and friendly! While driving from PA to MN we made a late night stop…so glad we did. With 5 people in our family it’s hard to find rooms. This room was like an apartment. Had everything we needed. Beautiful place!”

“Great Stay”

“The ambiance of the hotel is absolutely gorgeous, modern day look and very elegant. I would recommend this hotel to anyone, it’s an ideal location and has everything for the family. The best thing about the hotel is the faculty and staff.”

“Great new Homewood Suites”

“The new decor is excellent and fresh, very relaxing as well.”

“Great Home Away from Home”

“Absolutely Outstanding – From Top to Bottom”

“Amazing facilities that include a great lobby, breakfast room, exercise room, saltwater pool and hot tub, and an outside basketball court. This is truly one of the best hotels that we have ever stayed in — it would be in our top 3 for sure…”

“Would Stay again – I rarely give 5’s”

“If you are driving into the Chicago area to visit friends or family, have business on the south side and need a great extended stay location, or need a place for the family while someone is in the hospital in NW Indiana consider Homewood Suites in Munster, IN.”

Design for the Bottom Line – Transformation Fitness & Wellness

Studio Collage

Transforming your body or transforming your business takes a firm commitment, thoughtful planning and rigor. They say “treat your body like a temple” the same could be said for the structure that houses your business.

Take the case of Transformation Fitness & Wellness, an Indianapolis-based personal training and wellness company whose owners took on the task of reinvigorating their business and creating their brand. Founded in 2007, owners Arin and Tony Lindauer wanted to create a fitness facility that would give clients an educated solution while maintaining the integrity of the fitness industry.

Previously located on another high-trafficked street in downtown Indianapolis, their brown storefront beside Goose the Market was nondescript and easily overlooked. Moving the operation to an existing building on North Pennsylvania Street took a significant investment, elbow grease, creativity and forethought by this woman-owned business.

The building they found on Penn was formerly a Brink’s Truck operation, then a casework shop. To say the exterior was visually underwhelming might even be kind. “It was a 1960’s yellow, smooth brick building with some graffiti and blocked-in tile for the windows,” says Arin. “She was beautiful . . . just kidding!” A complete transformation would be required, both inside and out.

Mapping out the interior was crucial. “We worked with Brenner Design to lay out the perfect space,” Arin says. “We had a fairly open concept but they helped us use our space wisely, mapping out the locker rooms, break room (yes!), assessment room, front desk, reception area, consultation room and our offices. Now our vision was coming to life!”

Creating a vibrant exterior was the next challenge. The new face of the company sports a Mondrianesque pattern of lines and colors on the revitalized front and rear façades. The design brings energy and excitement to an otherwise bland and dated streetscape. It represents their unique brand and mission of health and fitness. The Lindauers loved it. “They definitely gave us a safe solid color plan, but they also provided one that would get us noticed,” said Arin. “When the painters started all I could do was watch in awe. It was gorgeous, different, and loud!  We were so proud of it!  We took a building that looked like it was on its last leg cosmetically and gave it a much need deep cleanse and a face lift.”

Although one would think that “low budget” translates to “mediocre design,” the proposed design solution exudes the passion and energy of Arin and Tony. With the added assistance from a façade grant, the company was able to complete the new look within their budget.

Not only did their efforts establish a new branded image, the transformed look brought attention and new customers to their doors. As Arin states, “We have for the first time in business gained new customers because of the customer driving by. We track where all our leads come from, and a “drive by” was never a category before moving our business.”

The bottom line impact of the new façade design is over $19,000 in new business (a 13% increase), and a total of 18 new customers directly attributable to noticing the location by merely driving by. 

“It may not seem like a ton, but it is to our business,” says Arin. “We sign up 10-15 clients on average per month, and it is great to know that 1 of those 10-15 will come from the investment in our building.

“I have never regretted the decision because I love how prospects say, ‘Oh yeah, the funky building on Penn, I know where you are located!’ It is music to my ears!” 

Transformation is everything, and good design can directly impact — and transform — your company’s bottom line. If a design overhaul is in your future, contact us. We’d love to be part of your transformation.

Design and Architecture by Brenner Design Incorporated; Cynthia Cooper, Director of Design, Rachel Reynolds, Interior Designer.

Not Just a Walk in the Park

Chicago_Riverwalk_27

Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July. People dancing, people laughing. A man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs. Can you dig it? Yes I can.

For those who don’t recognize them, those are lyrics from “Saturday in the Park” by the band Chicago. They seem especially appropriate when one contemplates the new Chicago Riverwalk, which is taking its place among the great urban amenities of our generation.

This recent redevelopment project along lower Wacker Drive in Chicago is an excellent example of a thoughtful and creative urban monument. If you haven’t had a chance to experience this new portion of downtown Chicago designed by Architect Carol Ross Barney, you need to make it part of your next trip there. The walk extends from Michigan Avenue west to Lake Street. Her design solves several functional problems, including flood control, a severe width restriction and ADA accessibility requirements in an elegant and sculptural way. The steps, ramp and walkways are inviting and human-scaled in contrast to the adjacent skyscrapers and provide a much-needed link to the wide expanse of the Chicago River.

Chicago_Riverwalk_32

Slow motion riders fly the colors of the day. A bronze man still can tell stories his own way.

The walk incorporates the Chicago Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Plaza commemorating the sacrifices of Illinois’ fallen soldiers. Diverse opportunities appear as the walk winds its way through downtown Chicago. The public can experience unique dining options, areas for public events and waterfront amenities for human-powered watercraft.

The detailing is exceptional and the execution of the joints, edges and even expansion joints are done with precision. The integration of lighting slots and dots, drainage grilles and planters create a harmonious and beautiful urban park environment. The esplanade of the Riverwalk winds its way under bridges and follows the curve of the river. It provides an outdoor space in an otherwise frenetic city to be enjoyed mutually by joggers, walkers, strollers and the lunch crowd.  

People talking, really smiling. A man playing guitar, singing for us all. Will you help him change the world? Can you dig it? Yes I can.

In this case, it’s a “her” and not a “him” who changed the world. The Chicago Riverwalk design was conceived and detailed by female architect, Carol Ross Barney. While women represent only a small portion of the male-dominated profession of architecture, it is clear that talent is not limited to one gender. Our society in general normally accepts men as architects, but we don’t take the time to think about the opportunities or the benefits of working with women. To be a woman in this profession, let alone a practitioner, women have to be exceptional just to survive. So why wouldn’t a client want to work with a person who is an over-achiever, an American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal Winner, one with a proven reputation for outstanding design? This project represents exactly why clients should. Female architects should be hired because of their experience, reputation and passion for making our built environment more beautiful.  

Take a look around and enjoy the experience!  It’s not just a normal walk in the park. Can you dig it? Yes you can.

Carol Ross Barney is founder and principal of Ross Barney Architects, Chicago, Illinois.

Photo credit: Kate Joyce Studios

Brenner Design announces an Employee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brenner announces a new Employee!

May 16, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana –Brenner Design is pleased to announce that Bo Hancock has recently accepted the position of Business Development Coordinator.

Founded in 1992, Brenner Design focuses on award-winning architecture, interior design and construction management services. Project types include commercial, medical, banking, historic preservation and higher education. Hancock will be tasked with forming new and maintaining existing client relationships.

Hancock graduated with a B.A. in Business Management from Indiana University. He comes to Brenner Design following 3+ years of sales experience in Chicago. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Bo has come to be a sports fanatic, with a big love for the Colts and Pacers. His outside interests are heavily based in sports with weekly intramural teams along with competitive racing in triathlons. His energy and enthusiasm for the future of Indianapolis makes him an ideal addition to the Brenner Design team.

Bo Picture

Contact:

Bo Hancock

bhancock@brennerdesign.com

317-640-1389

A Gem for Our City. A Winner for Life.

150710_Catchings_557682153_Stars_Fever_Hoskins0324-72dpi

I recently attended the Legacy luncheon for Tamika Catchings, a personal friend. I was witness to an outpouring of accolades and well wishes for her final season as the leader of the WNBA Indiana Fever basketball team. The day was declared Tamika Catchings Day in Indianapolis by Mayor Joe Hogsett, and she accepted a Sagamore of the Wabash award from Governor Mike Pence.

Her well-wishers included sports greats, coaches and players, government officials, family and friends.

logo_mainI have to say that it’s about time. Tamika has been quietly doing amazing work for our community outside her professional career for over 15 years. Although she is known for her tenacious athleticism on the basketball court, many people do not know her work with Catch the Stars Foundation (CTSF). Tamika founded CTSF in 2004 to empower youth to achieve their dreams through goal-setting programs that promote fitness, literacy, and mentoring. The foundation meets needs through a specific emphasis on supporting and assisting under-served and low-to-moderate income communities throughout Indianapolis.

Tamika has had a tremendous impact on so many lives in Indianapolis, instilling a sense of self worth and purpose to the children who attend her camp. She teaches life skills in addition to basketball skills for the game she loves.

I have wondered for a long time why we haven’t seen more of Tamika, why the City doesn’t embrace her the way we embrace men such as Peyton Manning and Reggie Miller. Is it the media not taking notice, or the fact that women’s professional basketball is still growing in popularity? Whatever the reason, media take note: 2016 is her legacy season. On May 29 she will embark on a 12-city Legacy Tour with the intent to establish a legacy of giving. She plans to expand the reach of CTSF into every WNBA market. Her goal is to raise $100,000 in support of this worthy cause.

I encourage everyone to spread the word about her goals and accomplishments — in sports and in life. Tamika has written two books: Dreams are for Catching, for children, and her newest release this year, Catch A Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion, co-written with Ken Petersen. Tamika is number 24 out on the basketball court, and number one in my book — a great female athlete and the kind of person I hope we all grow up to be. She has excelled in her career and more importantly, she has excelled at giving back with grace and humility.

So let’s raise her up while she is here with us, let’s celebrate her legacy season for the Indiana Fever with more recognition and more appreciation. Let’s support her efforts, attend the games and learn what we can from her, wish her well, say thanks and propel her into the next chapter of her career.

Good luck Tamika, you are a “24”- karat role model.

STATS:

  • Three-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner
  • 2012 WBNA Finals MVP
  • Past President of the WNBA Players Association
  • Ten-time WNBA All-Star
  • 2011 WNBA MVP
  • Five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • Recorded the first ever quintuple-double in WNBA history
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • Four-time All-American College Player

Tamika Catchings 2016 Legacy Tour Schedule

  • Sunday, May 29 at Atlanta (3:00 p.m.)
  • Friday, June 3 at New York (7:30 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, June 14 at Minnesota (7:00 p.m.)
  • Friday, June 17 at San Antonio (7:00 p.m.)
  • Saturday, June 25 at Dallas (7:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, June 29 at Chicago (12:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, July 6 at Los Angeles (7:30 p.m.)
  • Friday, July 8 at Phoenix (7:00 p.m.)
  • Sunday, July 10 at Seattle (4:00 p.m.)
  • Saturday, August 27 at Indiana (7:00 p.m.)
  • Sunday, September 11 at Washington (4:00 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, September 13 at Connecticut (7:00 p.m.)

 * All times LOCAL. Dates may not coincide with Catchings’ final game in each city.

Note:  you can also support Tamika and CTSF at the Scholar Athlete Dinner on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.  For tickets, visit www.CatchTheStars.org

Photographs courtesy of Indiana Fever and Catch The Stars Foundation