Ashley Fronterhouse Lee and Kathleen Lemaster—partners at Axis
Architecture + Interiors—use empathy to redesign the office experience.
HEAVY HITTERS IN
Ashley Fronterhouse Lee
When one hears “Fortune 500 company,” it’s not often that the heartland of America comes to mind. For Ashley Fronterhouse Lee and Kathleen Lemaster, partners at Axis Architecture + Interiors in Indianapolis, the Crossroads of America is the perfect
location for innovative design. This design duo has collaborated on a variety of
interiors, from a redesign for Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, to tech giant MOBI’s
offices (honored with the Economical Design and Best in Show IDEA awards
from IIDA) and the 28,000-square-foot Cummins Live Well Center (which received
the 2017 AIA Indianapolis Excellence Award).
For Axis Architecture + Interiors, creating avant-garde interiors starts with
having a progressive company mission. Founded in 1995 by Kevin Cooper and
Drew White, the two men wanted to create a firm in the Midwest with not only a
passion for design but also an understanding that architecture and interior design
are equally important to a building.
“Shockingly, I feel that the norm is architecture and interiors don’t really work
very harmoniously together,” Lemaster explained. “As an architect, [White] was very
involved with interiors and had great insight about exactly how important the two are
to one another. Based on that experience, [the combining of the two] was something
very natural to him and something he always promoted within our studio. So we
work very closely with architects and [they] have a great understanding of interiors.”
Fronterhouse Lee agreed. “Often an architect will design a project then come
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