Scripps Center Penthouse

Interior Architecture- Small Scale (<5,000 sf)

Project Narrative

Downtown Cincinnati, 1990. During construction, the owner of the Scripps Center visited the mechanical penthouse, which had sweeping views of the Ohio River. He made a last-minute decision to convert the space into a small office space for his family business. The floor was only accessible via a shuttle elevator and a two-story space below meant the center of the space was inaccessible, but the family found a way to make it work.

Over 30 years, the company grew and established a foundation, which shared the office. In addition, the family quietly amassed a fine art collection that they decided to open to the public. More employees and art enthusiasts visiting every day made it clear it was time to re-imagine the space.
The office needed to reflect the visions of both the company and the foundation while presenting a unified aesthetic. They wanted to highlight and complement the artwork but remain grounded in the context of the city.
Infilling the two-story volume reclaimed critical area and allowed for “in-the-round” circulation, aligning with the building shape.

Stepping off the shuttle elevator, one immediately glimpses views of the city in three different directions. A “living gallery” flows around a central volume housing the main conference room and an intimate family memorabilia room. Moving throughout, views back to the exterior are strategically framed by openings and hallways. Simple materials with a focus on natural textures and minimal patterns allow the art to come forward.

The office is a gallery, but the gallery is also an office. Gathering spaces are peppered with artwork throughout. Glass framed office openings surround the gallery, perforating the perimeter and balancing the central volume. The employee lounge occupies the west wing of the office, framing a panoramic view of every Cincinnati sunset.


Project Details

Submission Category

Interior Architecture- Small Scale (<5,000 sf)

Date of Completion

February, 2023