13 January 2015

the elks building

Designed by Roy A. Benjamin in 1926, the Elks Building on the corner of Laura and Adams is one of Downtown's most distinctive buildings. Once a headquarters for the local chapter of the Elks, the building has seen multiple tenants over the last couple of years. Nestled in the back corner of the building is a voluminous space with original exposed brick walls and a clear view of the massive roof trusses above, some 25'+ off the finished floor. OAD was commissioned to design a space that captured the unique qualities of the space while maximizing the available square footage.

OAD's strategy was to leverage the vertical nature of the space into a design component that opened the roof, drenching the office in light and orienting the program around a central feature. Take a look at the conceptual images!

23 October 2014


With a budget of $1000 here is our recent competition entry for an underutilized park plaza.

The clothesline is a ubiquitous yet un-designed element within the city. A purely functional result of the need for cleanliness and clothing, it nonetheless straddles the public and private realm, often displaying some of our most intimate garments for all the world to see. It also serves to decorate, however haphazardly, our often drab building and spaces. 

Our proposal seeks to redeploy the humble clothesline as a design element with intention and grace. Grafting onto existing structures, foliage, and surfaces, this clothesline weaves color and life through the neglected  pedestrian plaza. Re-purposed billboard vinyl stands in for actual clothing, creating a resilient and vibrant material that can, once dismantled, find a third life as wallets, bags, place mats, or hats in the hands of neighborhood craftspeople. 

14 October 2014

on the boards

We've added a new "on the boards" tab to our website. Here is a look at a couple of projects we are currently working on...

Empire Avenue Residence
A complete renovation of a split level mid century modern house in the Arlington neighborhood of Empire Point. Here's a look at the master bathroom:

Fontana Lake Cottage
Nestled on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee this woodsy retreat offers expansive views and amble natural light for a newly retired couple.  Overlooking the beautiful lake Fontana in the Smokey Mountains, the program includes a large great room, master bedroom, sleeping loft and large detached garage / studio space.

Southside Cardiology Office
Opening a new office in the South Point Office area, these clients came to us looking for a clean modern space with just a "bunch" of color! Take a look at their lobby:


12 September 2014

alewife: craft beer bottle shop and tasting room

Very excited about our latest project! Props to Kelly and Jamie for not only being awesome clients with a clear vision but also wonderful people!!! Alewife will be a great addition to the Five Points area.

04 September 2013

Office Space for All

For a number of our recent office projects, we have been confronted with what I'd call a sea change in office design and programming that has been unfolding for the last several years. Traditionally, an office was a place for doing work, plain and simple. Rows of uber efficient desks or cubicles provided a place to sit, a desk, and probably a computer to accomplish the day's tasks. The more worker bees you could cram into a space, the higher the productivity per square foot, right? Apart from being widely parodied in films from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" to "Office Space", that perspective has come under fire recently as researchers delve further and further into the complex chemistry of the workplace and what real productivity looks like. They discovered that, far from being only a task-oriented place of execution, a workplace is more like a microcosm of the wider world, where a variety of people with various learning and working styles interact in complex and multifaceted ways. In effect everything matters: from how you sit (ergonomics), to the color of the walls (mood effects), to how much sitting and standing you do (why sit at all?), to whether you even need a desk or dedicated workspace of your own! Google has codified the alternative workplace in its various headquarters and Google-plexi where ping pong tables, juice bars, cafes, and lounge seating are likely to be found at every turn. Offices are places for people. They are tools, like a stapler or computer, for accomplishing work productively. As such, office spaces need to facilitate the wide variety of working styles, personalities, and ways to interact that encompass a rich working environment. If nothing else, a good office design can provide variety, allowing one to simply change venue to help clear a mental block or re-approach a difficult problem. This recent Fast Company article explores the truly nuanced art of office space design. Even large furniture manufacturers are taking note, offering flexible workstations and a huge line of seating options that broaden the possibilities for the workplace environment.