Recognized as a signature building in downtown Columbia, the Rouse building was originally designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry in 1974. Featuring numerous setback terraces and large windows, the office building has become a mixed-use space, home to a grocery store and health spa. CBH+A delicately adapted this historic and iconic building to accommodate future use.
The primary design intervention updated the main entry - relocating it for improved circulation, enlarging the lobby into a two-story bay, and expanding the trellis.
The original entry was located on the northwest corner of the building.
New uses in historic space
It was essential to retain the original character and image of the signature building even as it evolves to become a more relevant, heavily-used, community space.
Interior renovations were made to suit the needs of the new tenant, including removing one of the floors to obtain a double-height interior space, but the signature light well remains along with the feelings of openness and light inherent in the original design.
A new café occupies the northeast corner of the building, opening out to an existing terrace with views to Lake Kittamaqundi.