Made in Michiana: Epoch Architecture and Planning

Made in Michiana: Epoch Architecture and Planning

When you look at a building, you can admire it for it’s beauty - from the materials used, to the lighting and feel of the space. 

Well before that building ever came to fruition, it all started as an idea. 

321 South Main Street in South Bend is where those ideas come to life - at Epoch Architecture and Planning. 

Kyle Copelin, Owner and Architect of Epoch, got to see his idea of opening his own architecture firm come to life back in 2012.

“My mission personally and my family’s mission is that we’ve built this company and we’ve been blessed with a community that is obviously growing a lot over the last 5-10 years.”

Kyle and his brothers in the house they grew up in. Left to right: Kyle, Kris and Ryan.

Kyle grew up on the west side of South Bend, so this is home for him. With every local project, he is getting to help preserve and shape the area and he has already left his mark.

“We used to have a joke in house, that we’ve touched most buildings downtown South Bend. ground up, there haven’t been too many ground ups. Press Ganey, we’ve done the last two fire stations for the City of South Bend, probably a dozen total new buildings, dozens and dozens and dozens of renovations.”

There is a lot more that goes into a build than you would think.

Kyle summarized it, “We build an internal team based on the specific needs of a project. then we bring in consultants to implement that team that we think can provide the best results. That team works through kind of traditional design phases. Programming, schematic design, design development, constructional documents.” 

With every build they try to keep sustainability in mind - not only to save costs down the road but also to improve the quality of life for those inhabiting the building. It’s called green architecture. 

Andrew Avara, Project Manager for the firm, described that materials used can be anything from recycled carpet, to solar panels, or even simply choosing led lights to improve on energy costs.

That’s exactly what you’ll find when you walk into Fire Station # 4 and # 9 in South Bend, both designed by Epoch.

Andrew said,

“If we invite the natural outdoors to kinda blend in with the interior of the building and kinda shape it around that, then we can start seeing how it can evolve and how it can actually help the environment.”


The design leaves it’s impacts on the consumer too. “Students get better test scores, retail stores with natural daylight sell more products because people feel better in that environment.”

This year, South Bend's Fire Station #4 (designed by Epoch) was awarded Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificationIt’s a rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize levels of sustainable architecture.

This is not the last you'll hear of Epoch either, Kyle told me that there are big things in store for his company in the next month! 

If you have an idea for a company that should be featured in Made in Michiana, send your idea to [email protected]

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