Richard G. Lugar Plaza

Indianapolis, IN

Urban design and placemaking for a new public space that celebrates community, provides a premiere civic gathering place and park, and accommodates a diverse array of amenities and activities.


The City of Indianapolis commissioned REA to prepare a visionary design and technical documents for the renovation of this 2-acre civic space located at the base of the 28-story City-County Building in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The goal was to transform the complex site – which sits on top of an existing parking garage – from a neglected and unattractive plaza into a premiere urban, public space.

REA led a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, restoration specialists, and consultants in the design and implementation of this $9 million project, named in honor of former Indianapolis Mayor and U.S. Senator, Richard Lugar.

The primary technical challenge of this project involves the careful and selective demolition of the existing plaza elements and construction of the new design atop the existing garage roof deck. Completed in 1962, the original plaza featured a complex arrangement of granite walls, water features, architectural features, raised plant beds, and concrete pavements atop a robust garage roof deck; replacement of these features with new design elements required extensive coordination between design team members and careful attention to design detailing to avoid impacts to the garage waterproofing and structural integrity.

From an urban design standpoint, the project represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine a half block of valuable urban real estate as a civic gathering space contributing life and vitality to this rapidly evolving downtown district. Connecting the seat of city government, the downtown IndyGo Transit Center, the world-renowned Indianapolis Cultural Trail, and new residential and mixed-use developments, the centrally-located site will provide new amenities, programing, and green space that are essential to urban life.

The design features both communal and intimate gathering spaces, multiple seating opportunities in sun and shade, and distinctive detailing and amenities arranged across an open and accessible plaza space.



2019 Indiana ASLA Design Award
2019 Indy Chamber Monumental Award, Best Overall


Daniel Showalter, Project One Studio