Corporate Workplace




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 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

Cincinnati Children’s Clinical Sciences Pavilion by Ryan Newman


“An exceptional brand experience is brought to life throughout this magnificent new building and embodies our organization’s aspirations. It represents hope, the promise of discovery, and the potential to improve child health.”

-Michael Fisher, Cincinnati Children's President & CEO

When Cincinnati Children’s opened their new Clinical Sciences Pavilion it made a 14-story, 445,000 square-foot commitment to research, innovation, and collaboration. The Clinical Sciences Pavilion is located between the hospital’s main clinical care center and its companion research tower, the William Cooper Procter Pavilion. The positioning of this new facility is symbolic of its purpose which is to connect researchers and clinicians. It allows them to easily collaborate and translate innovations faster from the lab to the patient’s bedside.

Cincinnati Children’s invited Kolar, as a key partner of the multi-disciplinary design team, to envision a branded experience within the physical environment. The vision was to develop a space that inspires collaboration to drive innovation, build a sense of pride in the accomplishments of the organization, and create convenient, delightful spaces that encourage research trials participation.

Kolar began by seeking what makes Children’s research function unique. What we learned is nuances matter:

  • Participants in research trials are not motivated to participate in research the same way patients are motivated to seek care.
  • Pride is individualistic. To build pride, addressing the diverse value sets of the audience was imperative.
  • Providing opportunities to be heard, to give back, and to ask to participate can be very powerful tools in building awareness and brand loyalty.
  • Utilization of space is influenced both by the design and by an organization’s culture.

Equipped with these insights the team was able to define storytelling, brand building, wayfinding, donor recognition, positive distractions, and a comprehensive artwork program to meet the needs of the researchers, administrators, clinicians, patients, families, donors and visitors who utilize the space.

Within the research clinic, the registration and waiting space was designed to provide a functional and delightful experience for families. The spacious, open waiting area overlooks a sculpture garden within a serene outdoor setting. The focal sculpture symbolizes the transformation of ideas into reality that occur daily within this space. Child-friendly activities such as hidden “seek-n-find” animals, interactive games, and play zones provide a variety of choices for children, while plentiful charging stations near tables and banquets provide homework or work spaces for older children and adults during their visit.

The design of the staff spaces was carefully orchestrated by the architectural team to foster a culture of communication and information-sharing. In support of this, Kolar developed storytelling graphics that celebrate the history and accomplishments of the organization. Aimed to foster knowledge of the organization’s history as well as stimulate new conversations, these storytelling graphics engage staff and visitors throughout the building in static and digital approaches.

Throughout the building, Kolar curated a collection of over 600 works of art to inspire and lift those who utilize its spaces. A portion of the collection was created by engaging more than 350 students from local schools and approximately 144 patients, families, and staff. These participants were provided an opportunity to engage with professional artists/art educators in the co-creation of artwork displayed within the building. Through this approach, staff had an opportunity to have a hand in the creation of the new space; patients had an opportunity to give to others, and children within the community had an opportunity to learn about science and research.

In order for the full vision of the space to be realized, Kolar assisted Cincinnati Children’s in the development of a “welcome kit” to celebrate the opening of the new space and acclimate the occupants to the building’s unique amenities and desired culture.

Anyone who walks into the Clinical Sciences Pavilion can feel the spirit of innovation alive and thriving. When 400 researchers were asked if the new space conveys an image on par with the quality of care and research, a post-occupancy survey saw a 30% increase in the old space and the new one. As one staff member said, “I feel inspired when I walk in here every day, and I attribute this feeling of inspiration to my increased productivity and creativity in the past year.”

Within this new building, groundbreaking discoveries will be made that will change the outcome for children around the world. For the Kolar team, it will be immensely rewarding to see how the space enables the next generation of researchers to develop life-saving advancements in pediatric disease.

Check out for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Architecture & Interior Design
GBBN Architects

Architecture- Research Clinic & Dry Lab Planning
HDR Architects

Wet Lab Planning
Jacobs Consultancy

General Contractor
Messer Construction

Experience Consultant & Artwork Program
Kolar Design

Artwork Selection Committee
University of Cincinnati

Artwork Partner

Artwork Partner
Marta Hewett

Artwork Partner
Art Design Consultants

Art Partner
Mary Ran Gallery

Art Partner
Sollway Gallery

Art Partner
McElwain Fine Arts

Art Partner
Pace Prints

Art Partner
Blue Spiral

Art Partner
Malton Gallery

12 Local Grade and High Schools

81 International Artists


“WOW, this doesn’t feel like a law firm!” by Ryan Newman

Stepping off the elevator and entering the reception area of Graydon’s rebranded office space evokes a similar reaction from clients and guests alike, “Wow this doesn’t feel like a law firm!”

We invite you to follow Kolar’s journey in creating a new Graydon brand, and transforming the customer experience within their new offices.

In May 2014, Graydon’s ‘Committee on the Future’ challenged their Chairman, Tom Prewitt to create a legacy of change. Within the firm, Tom has always been one to embrace change, and this promised to be his biggest challenge. Fortunately, Tom believed in the power of design. He understood the importance of experiences and he knew, for the firm to remain relevant, change was imperative. He wholeheartedly embraced the concept of transformation as Graydon was about to step into a new era. Tom noted, “It was time for a transformation. It wasn’t about just a move to a different office but a larger transition, the opportunity to change the many things we’ve wanted to change over the years.”

The Graydon leadership team started the transformation by redefining their vision statement.

Greater Cincinnati’s most innovative and vibrant law firm, recognized by our clients as an indispensable partner, providing exceptional service and expertise.

This vision established Graydon’s progressive attitude and appetite for change. Kolar was then challenged to redefine the brand, setting a framework to:

  • Define the signature quality of Graydon

  • Build upon their most ‘innovative’ and ‘vibrant’ vision

  • Create a new identity, message platform and website

  • Reflect their important position within the Cincinnati community

  • Drive change in the overall Graydon culture

At Kolar, we place a heavy emphasis on the front end of our design process, spending time to discover and learn before crafting a successful design strategy. In our discovery work with the Graydon team we interviewed key stakeholders, conducted a survey with staff, and facilitated a design thinking workshop. We gathered 25 members of the extended Graydon team, representing a diversity of voices and generations, to help build a consistent brand foundation. The workshop was a full day, resulting in great insights which lead to creating a narrative we could all support.

The core idea encompassing the Graydon narrative is ’Connections’.


The most powerful relationships in life are built on authentic connections; where you know each other so well, you can anticipate what the other thinks and needs. You respect where each other is coming from because you’ve been through it together. You’ve experienced the joys, and the pain. At Graydon, we aren’t just legal service providers; we’re our clients’ constant counsel. We get to know our clients, their personal and professional experiences, so well in fact, we are truly partners. Our relationships run deep because we’re always there – sharing our knowledge, anticipating what lies ahead, navigating change, forging a way to the best outcomes. 

For 140 years, Graydon has been an indispensable partner, building relationships with our clients, and the communities we serve. With deep knowledge, and even deeper empathy, we remain connected to you. 

With our core narrative of ‘connections’ in place, our next objective was to create a comprehensive identity system. Our logo exploration ultimately lead to the use of ‘conversation boxes’. This graphic element is used to visually express how Graydon connects with their clients, colleagues and the community. The overlap of translucent elements is symbolic of the magic that happens thru Graydon’s connections. The resulting square becomes the geometric shape that forms the basis for the identity system.

  • Proprietary letterforms are simple but bold to suggest trustworthiness, strength and stability
  • Color palette uses timeless blues and grays with accents of fresh, vibrant greens and orange
  • Other assets include a variety of colorful and linear patterns

By this time, an office location had been chosen. Using the message platform and newly created identity system, we translated the brand into the physical environment.  

We established the following goals with the Graydon leadership team for the new office space:

  • Provide a welcoming, authentic experience where every client need has been considered

  • Elevate the experience for clients, guests and employees, drawing them to the inspiring views of the city and river

  • Capitalize on the open, light-filled spaces with touches of texture, color and an edge of creativity

  • Optimize employee amenities to facilitate collaboration and provide opportunities for a casual break

  • Communicate the connection to our clients, our community, and each other while introducing the fresh, new Graydon brand expression

After exploring several concepts, the leadership team selected ‘Bridges’ as a metaphor for how Graydon connects to clients, each other and the community. ‘Bridges’ also provided the perfect avenue to bring the beautiful, expansive views of the Ohio River bridges into the space, bringing the iconic Roebling Bridge to our front door.

This collection of images depicts how the graphic assets have been integrated into the physical environment to tell the new Graydon story.

The entrance makes a statement about the new brand, introduces the identity and highlights the artful sophistication but, most importantly, draws guests to the amazing views of the river and bridges. The large ‘conversation space’ and café are meant to be open and welcoming. Even the reception table is designed to suggest the Ohio River and reflect the qualities of a bridge structure.

The entrance makes a statement about the new brand, introduces the identity and highlights the artful sophistication but, most importantly, draws guests to the amazing views of the river and bridges. The large ‘conversation space’ and café are meant to be open and welcoming. Even the reception table is designed to suggest the Ohio River and reflect the qualities of a bridge structure.

“Our space faces outward and that’s a metaphor for our people, we expect them to be out and in the community” (Tom Prewitt)

“Our space faces outward and that’s a metaphor for our people, we expect them to be out and in the community” (Tom Prewitt)

Subtle graphics of bridge structures link the inside to the outside.

Subtle graphics of bridge structures link the inside to the outside.

Business cards offer a variety of printed backs (colors and patterns) to demonstrate innovation and to delight.

Business cards offer a variety of printed backs (colors and patterns) to demonstrate innovation and to delight.

The ‘connecting stairs’ reinforce the theme and show the new graphic pattern.

The ‘connecting stairs’ reinforce the theme and show the new graphic pattern.

A collection of story panels that reinforce the connections Graydon has to their clients, community and each other. These serve as an introduction to the personal stories you’ll find on the new website as well.

We hope you enjoyed our journey! ‘Thanks’ to the Graydon team for believing in the power of design. And, thanks to our many design partners for collectively delivering an ‘experience’ that is truly innovative and vibrant - and makes clients exclaim, “WOW, this doesn’t feel like a law firm!”  

“One of the really pivotal, correct, decisions we made was, number one, to hire Kolar and number two, get them involved early in the planning process with Hixson and Cushman from day one and that has really turned out to be the right thing to do and you can see it now, you feel it in everything, the brand is really integrated well within the space.”

T. Prewitt, Litigation Partner and Firm Chair


For more information about Graydon, please visit


Brand Experience
Kolar Design

Architecture/Interior Design

Commercial Real Estate
Cushman & Wakefield

Hunt Builders Corporation

Site Enhancement Services

JH Photo

CDA Awards 2016 by Ryan Newman

Kolar Design proudly accepted three prestigious SEGD awards at the 20th annual Cincinnati Design Awards (CDAs) event held locally at the Woodward Theater on November 11.

Kolar’s team swept the SEGD Built Work category, receiving design awards for Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Expansion (Mention - Design firm), Cincinnati Children’s Proton Therapy Center (Merit Award – Design firm), and Procter & Gamble, Geneva Business Center (Honor – Design firm).

“Universe”, the theme for the 4th floor inpatient expansion project at Cincinnati Children’s Liberty campus, was selected for its appeal to pediatric patients as well as its ability to provide tangible positive motivation for patients to get well and then apply learnings/seek new discoveries in the outside world once discharged. Within the patient rooms, sky-like graphic ceiling tiles contain hidden objects providing a 'seek-n-find' game-like distraction for patients. Professional artwork throughout the unit also integrates in theme and color to support the overall concept of the space.

Cincinnati Children’s Proton Therapy Center, providing the most progressive treatments for children and young adults with cancers and leukemias, is one of only two pediatric proton facilities in the country, and the only one with a research program. Treatment visits are scheduled daily for multiple weeks at a time, resulting in unique bonding between and support needs for families. Within the facility, a series of “gardens” were created to support these needs and to transform this medical facility into a warm, welcoming environment. In the Celebration Garden, a grove of trees along a winding river path adorn the route as families leave the treatment area. Each tree cradles a set of chimes that are rung to commemorate a milestone in the patient’s treatment.

Building a brand, globally was the project narrative for the Procter & Gamble, Geneva Business Center. As the world’s largest consumer products company, it was important for its global workplaces and tiered signature sites to communicate P&G’s new corporate brand to employees, customers, and shareholders. Brand strategy included moving to an open, agile office concept to create new spaces based on work styles and the various changing needs of an employee throughout the day. Whether it's quiet time in the "Biblioteque-Library" or gathering in one of the 6 workplace cafes for a cappuccino with co-workers, the space evolves to meet the need. A team of architects, interior designers and brand experience designers collaborated to successfully create a physical extension of the brand for the new prototype of the future workplace.

“Kolar is honored to have won three SEGD awards at the CDA now in its 20th year. We appreciate the acknowledgement of our work with our clients and partners in the creative community locally and internationally."
Kelly Kolar - President

In addition to receiving the awards, Kolar re-designed the new brand for the CDA to include a new dimensional logo, fresh color palette and transparent layering. Brent Beck was the lead designer on the project and said, “The new brand represents our region’s seamless inter-disciplinary creative community.  They are shaping the future of our city for generations to come.”

The Cincinnati Design Awards (CDA) program recognizes the best built-environment design produced by Cincinnati area creative firms and promotes the social and economic value of good design in our community. Each year, a distinguished nationwide jury of design thought leaders and eminent practitioners presents the awards to submitted projects created by local architecture, interiors, landscape, and experiential graphic designers.

Across all categories, CDA award winners represent cutting-edge creative work that is sensitive to global contemporary design trends, social good, positive ecology and energy stewardship, resourceful client-centered solutions, and dynamic aesthetics.

Just prior to the CDA Awards banquet, Kolar Design hosted SEGD's first “Conversations with Clive” event with the Cincinnati Chapter ( On November 10, a collective of thirty designers, fabricators, educators, and digital media representatives engaged in conversation with SEGD CEO Clive Roux, and each other, about where the organization's focus has led the community thus far, in addition to what is happening in the design schools and the professional community. Clive presented the organization’s “what’s next?” goals and gave insights into the model for our future website. The SEGD Strategic Plan 2015-2018, outlined by Clive and the Board, states that SEGD should “Become a vital tool for the profession.” In order to educate and inspire, 50% of the focus should be on network/face-to-face events and 50% focus on informing, through the website. A lot of time and research has gone into understanding our membership base, how we currently use the website and tools, and the “specialties” that our member firms are marketing themselves as an offering. A good portion of the conversation was geared toward Experiential Design and cross-disciplinary education as well.