Easton's Engaging Gateways by Ryan Newman


Orignally from CIMA’s May Newsletter

“Collaborating with Kolar Design and Corna Kokosing, together we created an engaging gateway for Easton Town Center. This 1.8-million-sq.-ft. premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination is quite literally changing the retail landscape in central Ohio. Hosting numerous trendsetting retailers and eateries, Easton upholds their prestige by providing interactive experiences for their shoppers with live music, exhibits, events and dynamic digital content. Building a unique brand experience demands innovative design solutions.

With the need for a programmable RGB LED spectacular, Kolar Design trusted Cima with the task. Immediately following the briefing our lighting expert, Jack Tusman, was energized by the challenge and got to work prototyping. He developed a system utilizing Phillips Color Kinetics and mapped each module to maximize the overall impact on the curved 34' entry wall.

Corna Kokosing's project engineer said "It was a challenge to make sure these letters and their power supplies were watertight on an open wall with exposed areas. I've never seen an installation with so many electrical parts. Jack's patience and dedication to the project were essential to solving this problem." 

We made it easy for Easton to connect with their community by creating various animated programs to highlight holidays, promotions and special events. We then taught their team how to create and program their own shows, ultimately increasing the value and versatility of the new entryway element. “




In an effort to bring research to the forefront, Cincinnati Children's commissioned a design-build sculpture as the centerpiece of its new William Cooper Procter Research Pavilion. Located within the ground floor, the sculpture tells the story of how Cincinnati Children's is conducting research at all levels of the human system, from "molecule to mankind," in order to transform the treatment and delivery of patient care locally and throughout the world.

Designed to engage audiences of varying understanding to appreciate the beauty, drama, and wonder of biology, the sculpture comes alive through custom and pulsating LED lights that appear as if they are breathing and moving. Plasma screens convey the "molecule to mankind" progression through custom videography and animated medical rendering.

A two-year endeavor from concept to reality, this dynamic glass and metal organic lobby sculpture engages viewers from every approach and seeks to inspire and educate those working to improve the lives of children now and for generations to come.


Check out www.kolardesign.net for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Architecture & Interior Design
GBBN Architects

Messer Construction

Brand Experience
Kolar Design

CD+M Lighting Design Group
Perspectives 360

Lightborne Communications
Travis Vermilye Medical & Biological Illustration

St. Xavier Park & Leasing Center by Ryan Newman


The vision is that the space becomes a welcoming entry and social hub to both current and prospective clients, as well as neighborhood residents.  Kolar Design, in collaboration with Human Nature and RDA Group Architects, worked in close coordination with North American Properties to achieve its vision for enhancing a highly visible exterior plaza on the corner of 7th and Sycamore Streets and its interior leasing center space.

7th & Sycamore Street - Site Context


Concept Images

Concept Images

Exterior Facade Renovation - Sycamore

Exterior Signage Mock-Up

Exterior Signage Mock-Up

NAP Leasing Center - Identity

NAP Leasing Center - Identity

Interior Graphic Element

Interior Graphic Element

St. Xavier Park Ecosystem

St. Xavier Park Ecosystem


7th & Sycamore - Night Perspective

2019 Update - Cincinnati Business Courier

Dog park, yoga lawn coming to downtown apartment buildings

By Tom Demeropolis  – Senior Staff Reporter, Cincinnati Business Courier

Cincinnati Business Journal - 2019

The owners of four downtown Cincinnati apartment buildings are adding a new amenity that is expected to be unique in the city.

North American Properties and NorthPointe Group, the owners of the collection of apartments known as Saint Xavier Park, are building a park for residents of four apartments at 636 Sycamore St. Maggie Hobbs, property manager for Saint Xavier Park, said she believes the park will be the first of its kind in downtown Cincinnati.

“The goal we’re trying to accomplish is have all four buildings with one common area shared amenity mostly to build community amongst the four,” Hobbs told me.

The apartments that make up Saint Xavier Park are East 8 Lofts, Sycamore Place, Seven at Broadway and Encore. Between the four buildings, Saint Xavier Park has 402 apartments. 

The roughly quarter-acre park will include a dog park, grills, fire pits, a turnaround for food trucks, a stage for entertainment, outdoor seating and a yoga lawn. The dog park area will have water fountains and drainage in the turf.

“Aesthetically, it will be a nice addition to the block,” Hobbs said.

Nick Rabin, asset manager of multifamily for downtown-based North American Properties, said the park will be an enhancement to the downtown community.

“It will be an exciting gathering place and social experience for our downtown residents,” Rabin said via email.

The park is part of a three-phase reinvestment in the properties, Hobbs said.

The first phase was renovating the space on the first floor of Sycamore Place into a combined leasing office for all four properties. There, potential residents are able to get information on all four properties and use giant touch screens to look at them. The second phase is the park, which is currently under construction. The plans for the third phase, which would include some additional indoor amenities for residents, are being finalized.

Residents will be able to access the park at the southeast corner of Seventh and Sycamore streets using their fingerprints. When the Eighth and Main apartment building is complete, its residents also will be able to access the park.

North American Properties also recently launched a “black card” for residents of Saint Xavier Park. The company worked with a dozen downtown retailers to provide residents with exclusive discounts. Participating retailers include Money Chicken, Spoon & Cellar, Corkopolis, YWCA and Woods Hardware.

The architect for the park project is RDA Group Architects, with Plant Trolley also working on it. The park is scheduled to be completed this spring.

UC Health plans $30M Clifton Campus Project by Ryan Newman

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Main Entrance Canopy

Main Entrance Canopy

CINCINNATI (Feb. 1, 2019) — Over the next two years, UC Health will invest $30 million in improvements to inpatient, outpatient and parking facilities and wayfinding across its Clifton Campus, including University of Cincinnati Medical Center, UC Health Physicians’ Office and the Barrett Cancer Center.

“The care that we provide to our patients is complex, but their experience with us shouldn’t be,” said UC Health President & CEO Richard P. Lofgren, MD. “We need to make it easier for patients, visitors and employees to navigate our campus and for our facilities to reflect the advanced, leading-edge care that we provide right here in Cincinnati.”

The Clifton Campus project represents an investment in patient care at UC Health, which is Greater Cincinnati’s referral destination for patients with complex needs and the region’s #1 preferred provider of neuroscience and cancer care. Last year, UC Health welcomed more than 10,000 patient referrals from other health systems.

The project will include significant renovations and improvements to inpatient and outpatient facilities, parking structures, walkways, wayfinding and signage across the campus, which spans nine city blocks in the Uptown Innovation Corridor. The campus includes eight buildings owned and operated by UC Health, plus shared and adjacent space with the UC College of Medicine.

Highlights include:

  • UC Medical Center: The main lobby, emergency department, underground tunnels, and many inpatient units will all be upgraded over the next two years.

  • Wayfinding: Wayfinding signage will be updated and improved throughout the campus to help visitors and employees more easily navigate the entire campus.

  • UC Health Rooftop Signage: This distinctive, LED-lit beacon atop UC Medical Center will clearly identify the hospital and Clifton Campus for visitors.

  • Goodman Garage: A new wrapped-style façade for UC Medical Center’s main parking structure will enhance the main entrance to the Clifton Campus for visitors and employees.

The upgrades are to include revamping the main lobby of the UC Medical Center as well as the emergency department, underground tunnels and many inpatient units.

The upgrades are to include revamping the main lobby of the UC Medical Center as well as the emergency department, underground tunnels and many inpatient units.

The Clifton Campus project is the latest in a series designed to improve access to care for patients.


In 2017, UC Health broke ground on the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, a $60 million investment in neuroscience care. The four-story facility will provide outpatient care, clinical trials and research, and space for multidisciplinary care teams to collaborate on the breakthroughs of tomorrow. The building will open in April 2019 on the southern end of the Clifton Campus.


In 2016, UC Health began investing in patient care space in the Ridgeway Tower at 3200 Burnet, formerly the UC Health Business Center. This culminated in the opening of a new 26-bed inpatient unit in January 2019, a $22 million project that will create 63 new jobs. UC Health now provides 92 patient beds in the Ridgeway Tower, and additional growth is expected in the future. The building is located on the northern end of the Clifton Campus.


About UC Health

UC Health is an integrated academic health system serving the Greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky region. In partnership with the University of Cincinnati, UC Health combines clinical expertise and compassion with research and teaching – a combination that provides patients with options for even the most complex situations. Members of UC Health include: University of Cincinnati Medical Center, West Chester Hospital, Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, Bridgeway Pointe Assisted Living, University of Cincinnati Physicians (includes nearly 900 board-certified clinicians and surgeons), Lindner Center of HOPE and several specialized institutes including: UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute; UC Cancer Institute; and UC Heart, Lung & Vascular Institute. Many UC Health locations have received national recognition for outstanding quality and patient satisfaction. Learn more at UCHealth.com.

Greater Cincinnati Foundation Announces Partners Who Will Bring New Office Space to Life by Ryan Newman


Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is pleased to announce it will partner with DNK, Kolar and RCF Group to ensure GCF’s mission to connect people with purpose is reflected in its new office space.

Originally posted - https://www.gcfdn.org/News-Events/View-Article/ArticleID/1519


“As we progress on our journey to find GCF’s new home, we remember that the look and feel of that home is just as important as its physical location,” said Ellen Katz, president/CEO of GCF. “We have been intentional about working with a diverse group of firms that will help us create a more equitable community by ensuring our office space reflects our commitment to equity. After all, our work starts at home.”

DNK is one of Cincinnati’s leading boutique design firms specializing in architecture, interiors, planning and landscape architecture. 

“As architects, we are honored to partner with GCF to plan and design their new office space,” said David Kirk, president of DNK. “We believe in their mission to inspire people to invest in Cincinnati through philanthropy. We also believe that design should respond to the reason for its use, but it is the experience of the space that matters. We want to create a work environment that is attractive and comfortable but yet responds to GCF’s culture. Their new corporate office should provide inspiration and spur a collective passion to continue their legacy of good work in the Greater Cincinnati community for years to come. “

Kolar is a global strategic design firm specializing in building branded experiences.  
“Kolar is honored to partner with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation – an organization making such a positive impact on The City of Cincinnati, by making our city a more equitable one,” said Kristy Sieve, workplace market lead at Kolar. “We will be collaborating with GCF to bring their new brand strategy, their vision, mission and story to life within their space.” 

RCF Group is a leader in providing tailored and comprehensive workplace solutions. 
“RCF Group is proud to partner in this development of an enhanced facility for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation,” said Carl Satterwhite, president and owner of RCF Group. “Our inclusion will capture the diversity of thought around the workspace creating a new, inviting environment.”

About Greater Cincinnati Foundation

As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.


About DNK

DNK is one of Cincinnati’s leading boutique design firms specializing in architecture, interiors, planning and landscape architecture. For over 30 years the firm has served clients - public and private with projects in the workplace, wellness/ healthcare, education and urban planning sectors.  We creatively balance people, economics and the environment to produce transformative, sustainable solutions. The firm is a recipient of numerous awards for project design.


About Kolar

Kolar is an award-winning, global strategic design firm specializing in building branded experiences that leverage insight-driven strategies and deliver measurable business results at the intersection of people and place. We are passionate about finding new and better ways to connect people, places, and brands—from global workplaces that blend corporate and cultural identity to healing environments focused on the patient and family experience. You can find our work in mixed-use development, where place-making is breathing life into urban areas; in city parks that have become the heart of communities; and in academic settings, where shifting populations and new technologies are redefining education. Our team is driven by the belief that great design is transformative, that environments can be an agent of change for people, brands and business. We design to remind people why they do what they do every day, to change culture and, sometimes, even to change lives.

The firm has a wide range of strategic collaborative projects over its 28+ years including: Atricure, Cincinnati Children's, Oncology & Hematology Care (OHC), Graydon, The Cincinnati Park Board, Tavistock Development/Steiner + Associates, Mercy Health, TriHealth, Christ Hospital, The Ohio State University, The University of Cincinnati, Graydon, and Procter & Gamble globally.

About RCF Group

We provide tailored and comprehensive workplace solutions, gaining insight through listening sessions to understand your business culture, needs and challenges. Then, utilize our knowledge and expertise to help you exceed your goals, ensure accountability and responsiveness to form a long-term relationship, while delivering superior service. We create and deliver value in a world that is constantly changing. We learn your brand from the inside out to formulate a plan for your project and believe that extraordinary results can be achieved when an engaged client and our team work together toward a common goal. RCF Group is dedicated to a supportive environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion while working together for the long term benefit of our clients, business, and community.




Louisville Airport-00.jpg

The Louisville International Airport looked to refresh their brand as a gateway to the world that reflects the heart and soul of Louisville for generations to come. Stakeholders along with the board authority explored options for a dynamic brand that created a sense of motion while capturing the ever-expanding economy, new conventions, community partnerships, and the growing cultural tourism our Louisville.

From the moment you step into the new arrival concourse the journey begins. The architecture unfolds along the main circulation path - revealing different story vignettes to enhance and compliment your travel experience in and out of Louisville. Each celebrates an accurate representation of place by distilling great experiences throughout the concourse- mastery, craft, and cuisine.

Terrazzo motifs, layered graphic wall patterns, with dimensional thresholds define the experience through portals. Natural daylight along with movement embrace the unique elements of aviation - flowing your experience along within the brand character.

A portal to the past, present and the future of Louisville - instilling respect and understanding for first-time visitors and residents alike.

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Louisville Airport-02.jpg
Louisville Airport-03.jpg
Louisville Airport-04.jpg

A Renewed Riverfront by Ryan Newman

John G. and Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park


The John G. & Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park is located next to The Banks development in Cincinnati. This vibrant project is transforming downtown Cincinnati by creating a major civic space at the front door of the city. It is a park for the generations—a compelling recreational, entertainment, and leisure resource for the entire Greater Cincinnati community. As an initiative led by the Cincinnati Park Board, the park features fountains, walkways, gardens, event lawns, playgrounds, and restaurants.


The design of the park was developed in phases, which began with identifying a park-wide strategy of graphic opportunities. These opportunities included park identification, directional signage, an informational site map, regulatory signage, donor recognition, and a visitor center. A marketing communications fundraising program was also developed to target potential supporters and other stakeholders within the local community. The program consisted of an inspirational folder, booklet, overview brochure, and animation, all designed to convey the vision for the park, highlight each of its key features, and build excitement throughout the community.

From Cincinnati Parks -  PDF

From Cincinnati Parks - PDF



Sasaki - Prime Consultant, Landscape Architect.

KZF Design - Local Architect, Civil Engineer, MEP/Structural Engineer. Aquatic Design & Engineering - Fountain Mechanical. THP Limited - Waterproofing. RSE Associates - Structural Engineer. Rico Associates - Specification. Pine & Swallow Environmental - Urban Soils.
Kolar Design - Graphics

Cincinnati Parks

2016 - Cincinnati Design Awards - Project

Check out www.kolardesign.net for more information
on Cincinnati's Smale Riverfront Park

Mural-ling in Buffalo by Ryan Newman

Sketch for weego, 2018, by Matt Grote and Chuck Tingley

Sketch for weego, 2018, by Matt Grote and Chuck Tingley

Kolar Design's Matt Grote along with Chuck Tingley have completed yet ANOTHER fantastic mural in Buffalo, New York - take a look at two of the many articles written about this exciting project below.

The Buffalo News

Trio of Murals to Kick Off Buffalo's Summer of Public Art

"It's not just magnolias and cherry trees that are finally blossoming in this delayed-onset Buffalo spring.

Public art is blooming, too, and the first bright buds of a summerlong profusion of art are set to emerge this month with the commencement of three high-profile mural projects on Hertel Avenue and the East Side.

As part of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's busiest season of public art yet, a team of artists from the local design firm White Bicycle will begin transforming a building at 1260 Hertel Ave. into a community-centric mural. At the same time, longtime friends and artistic collaborators Chuck Tingley and Matthew Grote will fuse their styles on a large wall at 1503 Hertel.

The Polish artist Otecki, known for his graphic pieces melding abstract shapes and traditional figures, will soon arrive in Buffalo to begin a large-scale mural on a building at 617 Fillmore Ave., near Torn Space Theater.

These three murals are teasers to a broader effort by the Albright-Knox public art team and its lead leader, curator Aaron Ott, to pepper Erie County with so many works of painting, sculpture and installation that art becomes an expected part of everyday life."

"As for the new piece by Tingley and Grote, whose collaboration can be traced back to an important 2010 mural on the side of 515 Main St., the collaboration is more about fusing two completely different artistic approaches to create a unified style.

"What we really tried to do is blend our styles seamlessly together in a way that we've never done before," said Grote, a former Buffalo resident now based in Cincinnati. "We worked back and forth sending sketches and drawing over each other's work, trying to create something that has an identity of its own that's hopefully greater than just his work or just my work."

The scheme they came up with, Grote said, involves a surreal balloon festival and a Rubik's Cube with three visible sides, replete with symbols and tied up with notions of cultural identity.

"What our mural really speaks to is about how our identities also come from culture," Grote said.

Originally Published on The Buffalo News


Buffalo Rising

AK, Grote and Tingley Tackle Hertel Mural

"Two of my favorite Buffalo artists have been given some prime time wall space on Hertel Avenue. Once again, Hertel is being given a colorful injection of live, thanks to this new mural project by the Albright-Knox, featuring artists Chuck Tingley and Matt Grote (Ogre). The mural, titled “weego”, is being painted at 1503 Hertel Avenue, on the side of Purrfect Café and Gallery.

While Grote does no currently live in Buffalo (he’s in Cincinnati), the two previously formed a dynamic tag-team painting bond, creating a number of epic murals throughout the city. To this day, they still collaborate on pieces, which are masterful in the way that they come together. Rarely do two artists have such distinct styles, yet meld so seamlessly. They barely need to talk to each other to figure out what’s going on in each other’s heads. The result is always phenomenal.

This particular work is perfect for Hertel, in that it is not only vibrant and whimsical, it’s also very playful, with lots of youthful imagery. Residents living in this family-oriented neighborhood will certainly gravitate towards the imaginative characters that come to life in this marvelous creation.

This project is supported in part by Buffalo City Council Member Joel Feroleto. Additional support for this mural has been provided by Hyatt’s Graphic Supply Company."

Originally Published on the Buffalo Rising Blog.