Cummins transforms Indy’s former Market Square Arena site
Soon, a project that broke ground on a soggy day in the spring of 2015 will wrap up in downtown Indianapolis, leaving an entire city block transformed.
In collaboration with designer, Deborah Berke Partners, F.A. Wilhelm crews began construction on Cummins’ new global headquarters for its Distribution Business Unit on the former Market Square Arena site in February of last year. Foundation work began in June and crews finished installing the top level roof deck a week before Christmas, just in time to decorate a tree for the “topping-out” ceremony.
Jeremy Ayres, Wilhelm’s Operations Manager for the project, said crews are now finishing up the exterior of the building, and the project will be complete before the end of the year.
Wrapped in glass, the nine-story building makes a visually dramatic statement about Cummins’ commitment to downtown Indianapolis.
Ayres said the glass curtain wall that graces the building’s façade was designed to be more than a decorative feature. He said its unique design incorporates sustainable building principles, including aluminum sunshades and sun-fins to block out the heat while letting in sunlight. “You don’t want everyone keeping their shades down during the day,” Ayres said. “This allows people inside to enjoy the natural sunlight without increasing cooling costs.”
Ayres said the “green” thinking that went into this project extends well beyond the building to the grounds surrounding it. He said one of the most unique things about the project is the amount of green space the Cummins campus will include, explaining that the building itself is relatively small in comparison to the site on which it is located. “The project occupies an entire city block,” Ayers said, “and, more than an acre of it will be open to the public.”
The campus will include 70,000 square feet of public space landscaped with grass, trees, flower beds and other plantings with benches and other hardscaping throughout. The green space will run along the west side of the property bordering the city’s Cultural Trail.
Bordered by Market, Alabama, Washington and New Jersey streets, the Cummins building and the green spaces it will provide the public are located in the middle of the bustling Market East cultural district.
Miranda Fox, Project Manager for Cummins’ Global Integrated Services and Facilities, said that the Cummins campus was designed to provide a balance to the more active public spaces in the surrounding blocks. “We wanted the space on our campus to provide a place where employees and the public can take time out to sit and relax in a quiet space.”
Ayres said Wilhelm’s crews finished installing the curtainwall a couple of months ago and are now finishing up the trim work. Soon, they’ll turn their attention to transforming the grounds into the kind of space Fox and other Cummins leaders envision – one that Ayres says will provide a public space unlike any other in the downtown area.