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16 Tech Seeks Design Team for Signature District Elements

Posted by 16 Tech Community Corporation ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
16 Tech Seeks Design Team for Signature District Elements




16 Tech Community Corporation, the non-profit developer of the 16 Tech Innovation District, seeks qualified teams with a combination of experience and expertise in innovative, imaginative, and implementable design that will capture the spirit of the district. The team will design an iconic gateway bridge crossing Fall Creek from Riley Hospital Drive / 10th Street, concepts for four signature entrances as defined by the 16 Tech Design Standards and a concept for an overall campus wayfinding package for the 16 Tech Innovation District. The design of the bridge will be a complete design effort from initial concepts to administration of the construction contract. The other portions of the project will be for a schematic level design effort only. The contracted Design Team will interface with American Structurepoint, the Civil Engineer of Record for the design of all roads and site utilities in the 16 Tech Innovation District. There will be a need to coordinate the bridge approach with planned road alignments, as well as other required coordination activities.

All parties that desire to participate in the Design Team Selection Process should register at to download the official version of the document, access additional project information and receive project updates and any other official communications.

The public announcement solicitation document with site images is available here.

BUDGET: $14.5 million

ELIGIBILITY: Teams including professional architects, designers, engineers, artists, and community engagement practitioners with local, national, and international participation (see below for details)

DEADLINE: March 12, 2020

About 16 Tech Innovation District

Situated on 50 acres on the northwest of downtown Indianapolis in the historic Riverside neighborhood and within the Indiana Avenue cultural district, the 16 Tech Innovation District is purposefully designed as a dynamic urban community for scientific research, technology innovation, entrepreneurial activity, and talent attraction.

16 Tech serves both as a signature development project for the new, metropolitan-based 21st century economy of advanced industries and university partners as well as an accelerator for Indiana’s innovation community, catapulting the region to global recognition for cross-sector collaboration and innovation. 16 Tech is located near the existing ecosystem of innovation at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI), start-up companies like Cook Regentec and industry giants like Eli Lilly and Company, SalesForce, Cummins and Rolls Royce. And it sits next to residential neighborhoods connected by rich history and more than 850 acres of city park land.

Although its primary purpose is to drive a wide range of research, innovation, academic, entrepreneurial, technological and commercial activity, 16 Tech will also include residential, retail and recreational activities. In addition to 3 million square feet of research and office space, 16 Tech will invest in public art and other placemaking strategies to add to the area’s vibrant atmosphere. Easy access to walking and biking trails, local waterways, and a multi-use path will provide ample opportunities to connect to the city or reconnect with nature. The 16 Tech Master Plan also calls for the creation of a central green accessible to all who work and live in the district and surrounding neighborhoods. Intended as the principal programmable space and communal destination, the central green will link to a broader pedestrian and open space network that runs through the district. Together, these elements will help tenants recruit and retain the types of highly motivated scientists, researchers, engineers, designers and professionals that are needed to succeed and make 16 Tech a destination for the broader Central Indiana community.

16 Tech broke ground in December 2018 and will open its first office and research building in Summer 2020. Innovation Building 1 will be home to the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, the state’s first and only applied research institute that brings together teams of scientists, engineers and data analysts and leverages existing industry and academic expertise in nutrition science, genetics and genomics, biochemistry, endocrinology, novel delivery systems and therapeutic approaches to deliver important answers to metabolic disease. Innovation Building 1 tenants also include the IU School of Medicine, as well as the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and its industry initiatives.

In January 2020, 16 Tech also commenced the renovation of the former Indianapolis Water Company headquarters; the project is expected to be complete by end of 2020 and will house flexible office and incubator space managed by 1776, the nation’s largest network of incubators, in addition to an advanced makerspace, and an artisan market to provide food / beverage amenities and a lifestyle hub for 16 Tech tenants and visitors. 16 Tech also anticipates breaking ground on the first residential project and a second new class A office building in 2020. Construction is ongoing for several public infrastructure projects including new roads, paths and walkways as well as site preparation for the 16 Tech Bridge. 16 Tech is being developed by the non-profit 16 Tech Community Corporation in partnership with local and state funding, as well as philanthropic and corporate support.

Indianapolis Design Legacy

Indianapolis’s design legacy has a solid foundation that began in the 19th century. While indigenous people were here long before Europeans arrived, the city formally appeared with the surveyor and engineer Alexander Ralston platting the land as a mile square. After the railroad boom, Indianapolis blossomed into a contemporary city filled with forward-thinking projects completed by the likes of Paul Cret, Percival Gallagher, George Kessler, John Rankin, Rubush & Hunter, Bernard Vonnegut, Milton Glaser, and many others. Starting in the late 19th century and through today, monuments and memorials have dominated public areas in the heart of the city. In the 20th century, the city followed post-war design trends. Many excellent projects were designed by Indianapolis-based firms, and Indianapolis is now home to a wide variety of practices across the disciplines. There is a growing body of work by notable firms that do not have offices in Indianapolis, such as Deborah Berke and Partners, David Rubin Land Collective, Diller Scofidio Renfro, HOK, Marlon Blackwell Architects, Michael Graves Architecture and Design, OLIN, SOM, and others.


16 Tech Bridge

A bridge can be viewed as simply a physical structure that allows people to travel from one place to another. It is also used as a metaphor for connecting people and ideas. For 16 Tech, a bridge is both.

The 16 Tech Bridge, spanning nearly 350 feet across Fall Creek, will connect the innovation district with 10th Street and the myriad research assets in Indy. While the bridge will serve as an important physical structure, it’s much more than that. It will be an iconic connection into the innovation district and the primary architectural expression of the district’s unique energy. The bridge will serve as an entryway to the 16 Tech Innovation District and the design will support the objectives of the 16 Tech Master Plan. The initial concept for the bridge infrastructure has an overall width of approximately 90 feet, which would include driving lanes, parking lanes, sidewalks, planting beds, and a combination sidewalk / multi-use path / trail to enhance the overall experience of entering the district. The overall length of the bridge from top of riverbank to top of riverbank is approximately 350 feet. The north end of the bridge site will connect to the future central green park that will be a public space for gathering and programming within the 16 Tech District. The south end of the bridge site is less than two miles to downtown Indianapolis and will connect to IU Health University Hospital, Riley Children’s Hospital, Eskenazi Health, and the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI). Of special note on the south end of the bridge is an urban park designed by Percival Gallagher of the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm. The park, which was designed in 1929-34 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, is situated on the west side of Riley Hospital Drive between the IU Health and Eskenazi hospitals. Upon completion, the 16 Tech Bridge will be dedicated as a public asset and serve as a public right of way. The bridge must meet appropriate standards of reliability, durability and maintainability.

Signature Entrances

The 16 Tech Design Standards identify four locations for “signature entrances.” The Design Standards identify that these are key locations for approaches into the 16 Tech District. As the first experience that many individuals will have of 16 Tech, the signature entrances will help to establish an arrival as well as a sense of place within the larger context of the city. It is the intent of this process to identify an integrated schematic design approach for the signature entrances, the bridge and district wayfinding, so that each of the design elements reinforce the other as well as the identity and brand of 16 Tech. The design of the entrances can be any combination of elements such as art, architecture, lighting or site amenities to create this experience.


It is the intent of this integrated schematic design process to identify an approach for wayfinding for 16 Tech that is cohesive with the 16 Tech bridge and the signature entries. The wayfinding scope of work should address any and all forms of needed directional communication and include universal design features, for all individuals. Expected vehicular wayfinding includes: vehicular wayfinding around the perimeter of the district to navigate efficiently to desired destinations; vehicular wayfinding within the district to areas such as parking lots and drop offs; and a logical naming or numbering system for vehicular wayfinding within the district parking structures in order to develop a common understanding of these structures. Expected pedestrian wayfinding scope includes identification of directional signage for district pedestrian pathways in order to create a mental map of the district and increase awareness of walkable alternatives for district residents and workers. Wayfinding should also take into account additional forms of mobility and transportation, including scooters, ride-sharing services, etc. Specific to this project, wayfinding will also include schematic scope for trail signage and directional information for the anticipated 16 Tech Trail. Additional wayfinding scope for trail systems should identify common ways and means to integrate 16 Tech District wayfinding with the adjoining city trails.


The Lead Design Firm shall assemble a project team from their own organization as well as consultant firms to assist the Lead Design Firm in the execution of the project. The Lead Design Firm will manage the entire process with periodic input and approvals from the Owner and its Owner’s Representatives. Generally, the following project roles will need to be identified and addressed in the RFQ submission for this project:

  • Project Manager for the Design Team / Project Process
  • Bridge Designer
  • Structural Engineer of Record
  • Landscape Architect and / or Site Designer for the Areas adjacent to the bridge and the south signature entrance
  • Civil Engineer for the areas adjacent to the bridge and the south signature entrance
  • Schematic Designer for the four signature entrances
  • Schematic Designer for District Wayfinding
  • Technical Advisor for District Wayfinding
  • Facilitator / Leader for community engagement

16 Tech is committed to creating equitable opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds and inclusive environments for all people to thrive and participate in the innovation district including but not limited to design and construction projects. As part of this submittal, the team is asked to describe the inclusion of minority, women, veteran, disabled and LGBTQ individuals and business enterprises within the project team and should strive to be in alignment with the construction phase requirements listed below. When the bridge project progresses into the construction phase, the minimum required thresholds for the bridge construction team are:

  • 15% Minority Business Enterprise
  • 8% Women Business Enterprise
  • 3% Veteran Owned Business Enterprise
  • 1% Disabled Owned Business Enterprise

The Design Team is expected to have a strong background and a high level of experience with the technical requirements and processes necessary for permitting the bridge portion of the project with entities such as the Army Corp of Engineers, various agencies with the State of Indiana (IDEM, INDOT, etc.), and the City of Indianapolis (DMD, DPW, IndyParks, etc.)

It is desired that there be both International / National and Local participation included on the project team.


  • Issuance of RFQ / RFP Document: 2.14.2020
  • Last Opportunity to Ask RFQ Questions: 2:00 PM EST, February 28, 2020
  • RFQ Response Due: 2:00 PM EST, March 12, 2020
  • RFQ Shortlist Announced: March 31, 2020 3.31.2020
  • RFP Response Due: April 16, 2020 4.16.2020
  • Interviews of Shortlisted Teams: April 28 – 30, 2020 4.30.2020
  • Public Announcement of Finalist: End of May 2020 5.31.2020
  • Project Commences: June 2020 6.1.2020
  • Completion of Project Construction: December 2022


Lead Design Firms and their consultant firms are invited to participate in the project selection process led by a Selection Committee composed of prominent Local, Regional and National members. The process to identify a Design Team to lead this project has four stages.

Stage 1 – Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Submission

  • Submission of an RFQ document that will be reviewed and scored by a Steering Committee.
  • Scores will then be shared with the Selection Committee for review to determine a short list of at least three firms that will then move on to the next stages.
  • All firms that move past the RFQ stage will be asked to participate in both the RFP and the Interview.
  • Firms that submit an RFQ document and are not shortlisted by the Selection Committee will end their participation at this stage in the process.

Stage 2 – Request for Proposal (RFP) Submission

  • Submission of an RFP document that will provide further detailed information regarding the submitting Design Team for evaluation by the Selection Committee.
  • Respondents that are selected to move on to the RFP / Interview Phase will be expected to provide the following detailed information. There is no limitation on the length of this submission. 1. Narrative of your anticipated design process specific to this project. 2. Narrative of your anticipated outreach process specific to this project. 3. Preliminary Proposed Schedule. 4. Proposed Fee Structure.

Stage 3 – Interview

  • In-person interview in Indianapolis between the key members of each Design Team and the Selection Committee.

Stage 4 – Selection

  • The RFQ submission, the RFP submission and the live Interview will all be taken into consideration in selecting a preferred Design Team to lead the project.
  • The Selection Committee will submit its recommended Design Team to the 16 Tech Community Corporation Board for final approval.
  • The Board-approved Lead Design Firm will then contract for the project with the Owner prior to a public announcement of the selected Design Team.


All of the respondents to the RFQ request will be evaluated by the Selection Committee against the criteria and weighting listed below in order to determine a shortlist for selection to the RFP / Interview Phase.


  • Team organization
  • Complete project roles
  • Past working relationships between key roles
  • Repeat business
  • Years of experience


  • Similar past project experience
  • Quality of design on projects
  • Past budget performance


  • General design approach
  • Community engagement process


  • Project interest
  • Team capacity
  • Technical expertise
  • References

As a part of the Interview process the selected Design Teams will be evaluated against the following criteria during the RFP / Interview phase.



The submission should be limited to 32 pages, including front and back covers. The RFQ submission should address the following items:

  1. Cover Letter: Narrative of your interest in this project. Acknowledgment of RFQ addenda received (if any)
  2. Approach: Narrative of your general design process. Narrative of your community engagement process. Narrative of the team’s current capacity to execute this project.
  3. Team Information: Project organization chart or other document indicating the relationships between team members, the Ownership team and all other project stakeholders. General firm information for the Lead Design Firm and for all associated project team firms including an estimated percentage of repeat business with clients. Information regarding prior working relationships between Team members. Anticipated role for each firm and the value and expertise they bring to the Team. Resumes for the key individuals that will be a part of the Design Team, including identification of the Project Lead.The resumes should reflect the individuals who are anticipated to be a part of the day-to-day operations, not the firm ownership unless they are one and the same individual.
  4. Project Experience: Project information for projects of a similar size and / or scope of services that were completed or nearing completion within the last five years. Include initial project budgets and final projects budgets for each project submitted and project durations from Notice to Proceed to Substantial Completion and Owner use as well as any outstanding litigation issues on these projects.
  5. References: A list of at least three references for the Lead Design Firm. At least one reference for all associated team members.


The submission should include two hard copies and one electronic copy in PDF format on a thumb drive or other reproducible media. The submission is due before 2:00 p.m. on March 12, 2020 to the Owner’s Project Manager: Synthesis Incorporated, 251 N. Illinois Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46202, Attention: Greg McMullen.

QUESTIONS? All questions during the RFQ stage of the process are to be submitted prior to 2:00 p.m. on February 28, 2020 and directed ONLY to the Owner’s Project Manager, Greg McMullen at Synthesis Incorporated, 317-951-9500 or Addenda will be issued to all participants clarifying any technical questions that are asked by the participants.


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