Central Exchange

Oklahoma, USA. 2019

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2019
  • Clients: 6th Street Exchange LLC

Central Exchange reinvents a pair of robust but derelict historic buildings in Oklahoma City—originally warehouse and garage for the Pioneer Telephone Company—into flexible space for restaurants, brewery, retail and office. To exploit their intrinsic character, the buildings are stripped back to their concrete frame and structural brick shells. On the warehouse building lightwells are cut into the floor slab, which, combined with large perimeter windows draw natural light deep into all four tenant floors. A new addition on the north denotes entrance while the expressed stairs connect the floors and stimulate chance interactions. A modern canopy extends from a new north addition providing cover while physically connecting the historically separated buildings. The new layout accommodates a pinwheel of activity arranged around a central promenade acting as both circulation and social core.


Remove dilapidated elements
Historic elements to be retained are sensitively repaired to match existing. Dilapidated or obsolete elements are removed.

Replace windows
Existing aluminum storefront windows are inconsistent with the character of the historic building. A composite aluminum clad wood window system is proposed that matches the original section sizes, but will be substantially more durable and conform with modern performance requirements.


Introduce courtyards and activate basement
Basement level walkout style open air courtyards are proposed for North elevation of the building to provide natural light into the basement and activate meaningful internal accommodation.


New core to north
A simple glass, steel and concrete stair tower addition is proposed for the back of the warehouse building to enable installing code compliant stairs without extensive structural modifications to the character-defining interior features. The new stair tower addition connects the basement up to the third floor via two code required and compliant stairs that are separated from the existing façade with a glass connector.


New interventions
A steel canopy provides cover from the elements and connects the new entrances to both buildings. A boxcar is permanently placed in the historic railroad loading bay and will be repurposed for future restaurant or bar tenant. New external patios are strategically located to engage and enliven the new entry sequence.


Tie together with landscaping
The landscape is seen as an extension of the building to root it in the site and the wider area. A formalized pedestrian route connects 6th Street all the way through the site onto 7th Street, further enhancing a burgeoning walkable city place. Private parking is provided for the building but is not a fenced or gated. It is designed to be as flexible as the building, providing the opportunity for pop up event space, visiting food trucks, festivals, etc.




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