Indigo designs places for people in balance with the environment

Our mission is to integrate art, architecture and ecology. Our projects put people in touch with their environment, each other, and their spiritual and cultural aspirations. Our projects and practice allow us to realize this goal.
Our new office showcases our values and approach.

Historic Dairy Queen (before-top), climate-adapted Indigo offices (after-below). Building Stats: 4,000 Total (2,800 SF Office & Studio; 1,200 SF Gallery & Event Space)

Adaptive Reuse
on an Infill Site

The existing Dairy Queen was extensively reworked to provide 2,800 sf of architect office and studio. A 1,200 sf gallery and event space addition with a high ceiling and ample daylight is used for art openings, lectures, workshops and other community gatherings. The walkable, downtown Davis location situates the office close to the Davis Amtrak depot, UC Davis Campus, and numerous local businesses.

Climate-Adapted Design

Climate-adapted design principles are used to harvest energy from the environment through daylighting, passive heating, night ventilation cooling and thermal storage. Natural light provides all lighting during daylight hours. In summer, windows are shielded from direct sunlight and a natural ventilation system brings sea breezes into building to cool heat sinks. In the winter, lower-angle sunlight warms the heat sinks.

South-facing windows are fully shaded in the summer and admit sun in the winter. Automated louvers operate to flush building and cool the culvert pipe thermal storage tanks for next day’s use.

the Community

The “Barn” space is leased to ventures that resonate with Indigo’s mission. 


Anatomy of
a Bioregional

We designed and built our award-winning new office as a living model of our holistic philosophy, addressing the quality of human experience as well as the environment that supports us. We located our adaptive reuse office in walkable downtown Davis on the site of a former Dairy Queen built in 1967. The original gullwing, glue-laminated roofline is preserved and offset by curving strawbale walls. An addition clad in corrugated metal alludes to the agricultural vernacular of California’s Central Valley: barns and fruit-drying sheds. Our climate-adapted strawbale building captures 90% of its heating and cooling energy from the environment, transforming a local agricultural by product (rice straw) into a haptic and efficient building material.

Strawbale Construction

Our climate-adapted strawbale building captures 90% of its heating and cooling energy from the environment, transforming a local agricultural by product (rice straw) into a tactile and efficient building material.


Indoor /
Outdoor Office

We designed an office building with the landscape in mind. Mature oaks on site were preserved during construction. Occupants have direct access to outdoor courtyards that are designed for working, eating and socializing: shady in summer; sunny and protected in winter; landscaped with drought-tolerant native and naturalized plants and sculptures created by the architects. Removable sails shade the courtyard; solar powered fountain provides cool water music.

Art & Architecture

Structural columns were designed and fabricated by the architects harmonizing with curving straw bale walls clothed in luminous white lime plaster that took inspiration from existing midcentury gull wing glue-lam roof beams. Custom-designed building elements and furnishings are contrasted with an addition clad in austere corrugated metal that alludes to the agricultural barn-vernacular of the Sacramento Valley.