Bits & Atoms Innovation Center (BAIC)
City of Akron, Ohio
Bits & Atoms Innovation Center (BAIC) is “a place for anyone to make anything and make a business of it”, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and emerging technologies.
Aided by the City of Akron, BAIC called upon Hasenstab Architects to evaluate the feasibility of using current buildings in downtown Akron to house their new headquarters. Hasenstab’s effort included a review of two existing buildings in the downtown area, the establishment of a program, and the conceptual fit-out of each to house the BAIC’s operation.
The focus of the evaluation ended up being the first floor of an existing building located on West Bowery Street in downtown Akron. The building features a 25,000 square foot footprint, offices, collaboration and co-working space, and a “bit factory” where entrepreneurial endeavors featuring computer programming, design, and manufacturing can take place. Also included is a makerspace where 3-D printing and prototyping can be done in a community atmosphere, and a food service tenant space to encourage gathering and collaboration.
After the programming effort, costing for the interior renovation was provided, as well as for exterior improvements to extend the building’s lifespan and to provide impact and identity for the building’s new function.